Meaningless: Reflections for Lent, Week 5

As we near Holy Week, it is appropriate that our reflections on Ecclesiastes take us to meditating on our mortality. Death comes for us all, whether wise or foolish, good or bad, just or selfish.

The writer of Ecclesiastes encourages us to acknowledge our limitations and our mortality. Yes, work hard. Yes, be prudent. Don’t be an idiot and make things harder by letting your selfish inclinations and evil desires get the best of you.

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Meaningless: Reflections for Lent, Week 4

In this fourth week of Lent, the author of Ecclesiastes continues to speak to me. I have begun to believe this may be my favorite book of the Bible. Despite the uselessness of any teaching I have ever had on it before (including in my college and seminary classes on it), it has so much to offer.

I’m realizing that while it needs the context of the rest of the Bible to help illuminate exactly what it’s talking about, these 12 chapters contain the core of everything the whole Bible has to offer. It lacks the narrative of God’s people and Christ’s gospel, but the fundamental wisdom contained in both are here.

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Love Your Enemies

Below is an audio recording of a time of prayer and meditation on Jesus’ teaching on loving one’s enemies and praying for those who persecute. It was presented as the morning devotional for a church retreat, and I decided to share it with whoever else decides they might benefit from allowing the Spirit to work in them with it.

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Draw and Drive

Understanding approaches slowly, but it arrives all at once.

Since I was a kid, I have had an affinity for certain people who didn’t quite align. I remember helping out at vacation Bible school as a young teen, and I was drawn to the kid (maybe kindergarten age) who was already the “difficult child.” I immediately liked him, and I spent more time with him than with any of the others.

As an adult, I have found that same element in myself drawing me toward certain people.

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The Secret of Wisdom

What is wisdom? There are many answers to that question. I’ve heard it described as knowledge applied to life. I’ve heard it worshiped—under the name Sophia—as a sort of new-age or neo-pagan spirituality. I’ve read it was involved in the creation of the world.

That last one is provocative, and I think Christians tend to gloss over it, ignoring its significance. It’s found in the most known collection of wisdom writing in the Western world—the biblical book simply known as “Proverbs.”

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