Mean What You Say, Then Do It (Ecclesiastes 5:1–7)

One of the great things about being a minister is the ability to officiate at weddings. Over the years, I have had the opportunity to lead a young couple—and a few not so young—in vows of lifelong love. Of late, older married couples have begun to ask me to renew their vows as part of the celebration of their fiftieth anniversaries. Presiding over such ceremonies is both a joyous and solemn experience. The joy is self-evident; the solemnity requires some explanation. Marriage—if the vows are any guide—is a very serious commitment. I ask the bride: “Will you have this man … Continue reading Mean What You Say, Then Do It (Ecclesiastes 5:1–7)

Better Than (Ecclesiastes 4:1–16)

Ecclesiastes 3:22 declares, “there is nothing better than that a man should rejoice in his work, for that is his lot.”[1] We Americans bristle at the notion that we have been assigned some lot in life with which we must simply make do. If we do not like our current situation, we change it. Ours is a country of self-made men and women. And yet, there are some things that no amount of self-making can undo, such as the facts that everything under the sun eventually goes “Poof!” and that we all die. Admittedly, neither life’s ephemerality nor our personal … Continue reading Better Than (Ecclesiastes 4:1–16)

Participation in Christ (1 Corinthians 10:14–16)

In 1 Corinthians 10:14–22, Paul writes: Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry. I speak to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say. Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf. Consider the people of Israel: Do not those who eat the sacrifices participate in the altar? Do I mean then that a sacrifice … Continue reading Participation in Christ (1 Corinthians 10:14–16)