TLIC Family. Day 77. March 18: All is vanity.

THINK TOGETHER

What makes you feel important or happy? What makes you feel good about yourself?

READ TOGETHER

We come now to the book of Ecclesiastes. Can you find Ecclesiastes in a Bible? Ecclesiastes was written by King Solomon, or maybe it was written about King Solomon, but either way it is a hard book to read because it’s all about how hard life can be. The book of Proverbs taught us that if we have the wisdom of God, if we trust God, we can have a good life. But the book of Ecclesiastes says that it’s really hard to have a good life because so much can go wrong and nothing in your life lasts very long. Ecclesiastes is not a very fun book. Listen to how it begins:

Ecclesiastes 1:1-3. The words of the Teacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.

Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher,
    vanity of vanities! All is vanity.
What does man gain by all the toil
    at which he toils under the sun?

The speaker in Ecclesiastes is someone called “The Teacher.” The Teacher starts out this book by saying that all of life is “vanity.” This is a word that means vapor, or breath. Have you ever watched steam coming off of a hot drink? Or have you ever seen your breath on a cold winter’s day? The Teacher is saying that that’s what our lives are. Short. Very short. Like a breath. And even worse, he’s saying that our lives don’t mean much. We’re not very important.

Do you remember the beginning of Disney’s movie “The Lion King?” The Circle of Life is the opening song. That song is very much like Ecclesiastes. Listen to some of what the song says:

From the day we arrive on the planet
And, blinking, step into the sun
There’s more to see than can ever be seen
More to do than can ever be done
There’s far too much to take in here
More to find than can ever be found
But the sun rolling high
Through the sapphire sky
Keeps great and small on the endless round

It’s the circle of life
And it moves us all
Through despair and hope
Through faith and love
‘Til we find our place
On the path unwinding
In the circle
The circle of life

This song describes life as one big circle that we are all born into. And in this circle there’s too much to do, and too much to see, and too much to “take in.” And so we each have to “find our place on the path unwinding in the circle of life.”

King Solomon tried to find his place in the circle of life by being very rich, and very smart, and by working very hard. He chased after all these things in order to help himself feel important and useful. And as you get older you will be tempted to chase after things that make you feel good about yourself. Things that make you feel important. Things that make you feel happy. Things like sports, or playing an instrument, or good grades in school, or a job. And all of these things are good things that God gives to us to help us enjoy life and worship him.

But none of these things will last forever. Eventually they will all come to an end. They are like the steam on your hot cocoa.

The truth is only one thing lasts forever. Do you know what it is? Or should we say WHO it is?

That’s right, it’s God. That is why we must learn to love God the most, and not the good things that he gives us. We must learn to let the good things God gives us point our hearts back to God. Why?

Because Only God lasts forever. And only God is perfectly good and kind and can make your life worth living. And when you trust in Jesus, and his death on the cross for you, then you can share in God’s eternal life of goodness and love. No more being a vapor. No more circle of life. No more making things that don’t last into the most important thing in your life. Now Jesus is the most important. Now being loved by Jesus and loving like Jesus, and helping others to know Jesus’ love is what gives life it’s meaning.

Because of Jesus my life is important to God.

With Jesus I can make knowing God’s love and loving like God the most important thing.

DO SOMETHING TOGETHER

Watch “The Circle of Life” together. Talk about how the lion family is putting their hope in something that will eventually end (baby Simba – later Mufasa will say they all just turn into grass). But Jesus offers us unending life and happiness.

PRAY TOGETHER

Jesus,

Your love makes forever and good. Thank you for loving me and teaching me how to love others.

Amen.

***

To see today’s post from the TLIC Daily blog –> Click Here

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