“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” It’s poetic, it’s even musical, and it’s one of the biggest frustrations in our lives. We’re caught between the beauty and destructiveness of the seasons of life and a longing in our hearts for something that truly lasts.
That’s the tension we live and die in. That’s life and eternity and our search for meaning in both.
I find preaching Ecclesiastes to be problematic. Solomon’s wisdom is undeniable, but is his wisdom enough to consider his words accurate and true? God’s grace notwithstanding, Solomon is a horrible role model and I don’t think his worldview is one we should trust as the answer to the ultimate questions of life.
Solomon’s view of life is a closed system where there is “nothing new under the sun.” His conclusion in chapter 12 is all about duty with no consideration of a relationship with a gracious God. So can I trust his words on the frustration we find in the tension between time and eternity in chapter 3?
I think I can. At the very least I think we all feel the tension of the seasons and the struggle to grasp eternity. I think Solomon’s expression of the frustrations of life reflect our own quite well. I think the conclusions he draws here match our calling to live as Christ in this world.
This sermon went well. I think preaching it on a lovely fall day definitely helped!