July 30

Ecclesiastes 1:18-22

“What do mortals get from all the toil and strain with which they toil under the sun? For all their days are full of pain, and their work is a vexation; even at night their minds do not rest. This also is vanity.” vss. 22-23

The Teacher, the writer of Ecclesiastes, composed his work over 2000 years ago and describes the human condition about as well as anyone. He speaks from his own experience and observation and his words so resonated with his readers that his little book was included in the “Writings” section of the Hebrew scriptures. He’s not a prophet or a law-giver, he just tells us how things are, and from his perspective life in this world is fraught with frustration and futility. For many people his words still ring true. They don’t like what they do during the day and at night they can’t sleep. Their work is bothersome and some continue in their jobs for the sake of insurance. Even when salaries are good and benefits generous people begin to wonder what the point of their labor is. Accumulation has become easy…we can pile up wealth easily…but sooner or later our bodies wear out and what we’ve worked so hard to gain will be lost. Jesus saw people living this way and said, “Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” His offer still holds. In Christ we can find the serenity we crave…and life is good!

Thought for the Day: When does work become a vexation?

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