Tonight, we will be discussing Ecclesiastes 4. In this reading, as in prior readings, we see the mind of someone who is dealing with his regrets regarding his life, and particularly the centrality that work and the amassing of wealth has played in his life. For example, when the Speaker addresses the oppression (vv.1-3) of the slave or the peasant, he does not call for justice for the oppressed, like the prophet Amos (Amos 4-5) nor does see his role as providing comfort to comfortless as did Isaiah (Isa. 40). He simply describes the situation with no contemporaneous recognition of any role that he could play to address the oppression that he sees. We can see the Speaker looking back on the oppression that he encountered (or caused) and yet failed to engage the situation.
In a similar vein, the Speaker decries excessive work due to the envy and jealousy of others. v.6. His teaching here is that we should seek a life of moderate labor between the idleness of the fool and the excessive exertions of someone like himself which are meaningless. Again, we can see the Speaker looking back on his workaholic lifestyle and his realizing that he missed the purpose of why he worked in the first place. There is nothing new under the sun.
As we gather tonight, we’ll look at how we and the Speaker are too much alike. How do we simply ignore the oppression in our midst? How do we allow envy to drive our work habits? How can we take apply the advice of the Speaker to our present lives?
April 16 – Christian Seder dinner. This is RSVP only. If you are coming, please let me know.
April 23 – Begin our reading of Richard Rohr’s Immortal Diamond – The Search for Our True Self. If you need a book, please let me know. Cost is $15.
Dinner is at 6. The menu is MBHS Booster Club BBQ (veggie option available). Discussion about 6:45. Hope to see you here!
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.Matthew 6:19-20