Tonight we are gathering to discuss Ecclesiastes 5-6. Tonight’s discussion will conclude part one of Ecclesiastes.
One of the recurring themes in Ecclesiastes that we encounter in Chapter 6, is that we should eat, drink, and find enjoyment in our very present work and existence. (See, Eccl. 2:24, 3:12, 5:18, 8:15, 9:9). However, as simple as this teaching may appear, the Speaker points out (vv.7-9) that it is often impossible for us to obtain this enjoyment. As he says, “all the toil of man is for his mouth, yet his appetite is not satisfied.” (v.7). In our striving to obtain whatever we believe will give contentment and happiness, we lose that contentment and happiness. If we believe that wealth will bring us happiness, then in our pursuit of wealth, we will never obtain enough to bring us the happiness that we ultimately seek. This is true by whatever avenue we seek happiness – even in striving to have the perfect family or the perfect church. We simply can never have enough.
The impossibility of satisfaction also occurs because it is unlikely that we will be “satisfied with what is set before our eyes [but] will give into desire.” v.9. In other words, the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. As the JPS Commentary says “If we are enjoying a good meal with friends, this is ‘set before our eyes’ and it is good. But if we start to think of other things we crave – better cuisine or prestige or success or sex – we lose contact with the actual place and moment, and our soul departs and wanders off to other, nonexistent place.” Once we think that there is something better than the here-and-now, then the goodness of the here-and-now vanishes.
Schedule: On Easter Tuesday we will begin our study of Richard Rohr’s Immortal Diamond. The book is a meditative contemplative discussion on letting go of the eco-centric false self (which Paul calls the flesh) and our search for and uncovering of the true self. The true self is the kingdom of God that is within us, the spirit by which we are led, and the Word in which we live and move and have our being. For Rohr, in uncovering the true self, we follow the Way of Christ into his transformational resurrection so that we become full partakers of the divine nature. I hope that you can join us after Easter as we read through this book. If you need a book, please let me know. The cost is $15.
Dinner is at 6. The menu is chicken potato casserole. Discussion about 6:45. Hope to see you here.
I can’t get no satisfaction, I can’t get no satisfactionMick Jagger/Keith Richards
‘Cause I try and I try and I try and I try
I can’t get no, I can’t get no satisfaction.