We live at a time when a person’s worth is often determined by their work, either paid or unpaid, and most of us spend many hours each week ‘at work’, or have at least done so in the past. Some work can be satisfying, rewarding, even a joy but, as with the rest of our lives, it can also involve repetition, uncertainty, great effort and frustration. Very few of our efforts in daily life have lasting impact and not many of us will be remembered at our places of work, or where we live, even 6 months after we move on.
The book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible is written to help us with the frustrations of life. It has over 40 mentions of ‘work’, ‘labour’, ‘toil’ as well as references to injustice and comments on how we relate to those in authority. It helps us to humbly come to terms with the limitations of our lives and to keep going in spite of the insecurities that we face. But it also encourages us to enjoy, and be grateful for, the good things that God has given us:
I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil – this is the gift of God. (3:12-13)
On Sunday evenings, at 6.30, from 8th Jan until Easter, this book will regularly be the focus of our attention. With opportunities for questions and some time for discussion, along with prayer and praise, we hope that this time will be helpful and relevant to your week, however you spend it.
You may wish to start reading Ecclesiastes now in anticipation of these sessions and also to start praying that we will all be helped by ‘the Spirit of Truth’ in these times together.