- Updated: 19 October 2020
… and looking forward this week I am going to draw on the message I shared on the Oak Springs website yesterday. As we are coming to the end of our study of the book of Ecclesiastes, a series I called “Something Meaningless”, we are also getting to the bottom line of the author’s study of life from a secular perspective. All through the book death has had the final blow and the consistent valuation of “Meaningless! Meaningless! Everything is meaningless!” Even so, throughout the book, the wise author has hinted at the undeniable existence of God, so that even if death has the final say, good is better than evil. So, the instruction to live boldly, live joyfully and live godly is how the author leads up to the final answer to the search for meaning in life. (Listen in next week to the message that reveals that answer). 😊
To practice what I preach, I must apply living boldly, joyfully and godliness to my own life. Bold living has to do with getting up and getting going… denying either weariness or laziness from controlling my behavior. Even a person like myself who has a routine that is “doable”, I must lean into my responsibilities with a sense of making a difference in the lives of the people I am serving. As a chaplain that means active listening and thoughtful engagement with the dying and the bereaved. As a pastor that means active listening and studying the Word of God to teach God’s way of life. What does living boldly mean for you?
Living joyfully is both demanding and fun. It is to embrace the goal of a final judgment that hears, “Well done!” There is the potential for a lot of joyful living in my life… even as a chaplain and pastor. My hospice colleague says to people he meets, “I’m a hospice chaplain. What do you want to talk about, death or religion?” LOL! Finding joy in life can be a difficult task if we are sucked into the traumas or disfunctions of our world. Balancing a super-hyped up election season with the reasonableness of Christian love and thoughtfulness is the demanding work we must do to find joy.
Godly living is doing the right thing. For me, doing the right thing often demands a thick-skinned approach to the “us verses them” climate we are living in. I think forgiveness and not judging others unfairly is at the core of godly living that makes it so demanding right now. Please, for the sake of godliness, avoid getting sucked into the political rhetoric that has furrowed a deep division in our nation. Rise above it and serve the God who loved us enough to send His own Son to rescue us from sin and the death that dominated the author of Ecclesiastes’ judgment about the meaninglessness of life.
For His glory,