Life is fleeting, I read in Ecclesiastes. Make us aware of our end, the Psalmist asks. We came from dust and to dust we’re returning, God says.
And yet there are gifts under the sun.
Like Sunday afternoons picking guitars on the patio, dangling bare feet off the dock, reading Narnia, visiting neighbors, jamming with my siblings on the living room floor.
“I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in his toil… this is God’s gift to man” (Ecc. 3:12, 13b).
The Preacher of Ecclesiastes bookends chapters of futility with words like: “Enjoy life. It’s God’s gift.” But the chapters of futility outweigh the bookends.
Life is vain. Riches wither. People wither. Creation rasps for air under the sun. Every day, mortality drives us closer to the dust.
God gives good gifts (3:13). He beautifies things under the sun (3:11). And ultimately, God frees us from futility through Jesus.
Jesus saves us from this life’s vanity to eternal life’s splendor.
Death will come, yes.
But we’ll spend eons glorying in something supremely New under the Son.
“For the creation was subjected to futility… in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God” (Rom. 8:20-21).