The idea of reducing a book of the Bible to a set of propositions is ludicrous. If God wanted us to have a systematic theology, he would have inspired a set of propositions to be written and handed down to us. Instead, he gave us narratives and poems and dramas and prophetic rants and historical reflections and wisdom literature. Let it be what it is. Let’s not make the Bible into something it isn’t.
So as I come to the end of my reading of Ecclesiastes (this time), instead of summarizing what it says, I will try to summarize the lessons I have learned for myself.
- God made this world and I am meant to enjoy it. Enjoyment of creation isn’t my be-all and end-all, but it can be a pleasure along the journey.
- Life doesn’t last long. Therefore, I shouldn’t get used to it and should enjoy what there is of it.
- Some people think they know exactly what happens when we die, but I don’t think the picture is at all clear. My faith is not about going to heaven when I die, because that is self-centered. My faith is focused on Jesus. I’ll leave the details to him; I can’t do anything about it anyway.
- I don’t understand Christians that focus on the afterlife. It seems escapist to me.
- I am facing my mortality even more than usual because of my cancer. Reading Ecclesiastes has reminded me that my situation is not unique. We all are mortal.
- Truly, life is a vapor and most of it is meaningless, too.