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With age often comes perspective. Ecclesiastes is a book that Solomon likely wrote in his latter years of life. He has explored life and all of its facets and he concluded that under the sun it is all meaningless. In fact, that word meaningless, translated from the Hebrew word hevel is used in the book of Ecclesiastes 38 times. It is often translated in English with words like, vapor, vanity, meaningless, futility, wind or breath. It signifies that life is fleeting, frustrating and transitory. Solomon begins with the observation that all of life is hevel (Ecclesiastes 1:2) and he closes with this same thought (Ecclesiastes 12:8).

Since everything in this world is like a vapor, it is short lived and does not bring anything of true lasting value, Solomon concludes that it is all a chasing after the wind.

Therefore, with an aged and wise perspective on life given to us in Ecclesiastes, I am pleased to announce that this summer we will have a sermon series from the book of Ecclesiastes titled, Chasing the Wind. Join us as we learn from the God inspired wisdom of Solomon (1 Kings 3) concerning the life that we live here under the sun. We will plan to begin the series on June 26. The titles and texts for the series are as follows:

Solomon’s Search for Meaning (Ecclesiastes 1:1-11)
Solomon’s Search for Satisfaction (Ecclesiastes 2:1-11)
Solomon’s Search for Perspective (Ecclesiastes 3:1-14)
Solomon’s Search for Friendship (Ecclesiastes 4:7-12)
Solomon’s Search for Contentment (Ecclesiastes 5:8-16)
Solomon’s Search for a Plan (Ecclesiastes 12:1-7)

Be assured, however, these are not just the complaints of a grumpy old man, (I am referring to Solomon not me), but these are the words of God given wisdom. They can be difficult to interpret at times, but they are filled with wisdom from above. The words recorded in Ecclesiastes are not only about the pessimism, disappointments, and pointlessness of life under the sun, rather they also include hope as we are directed to remember our Creator (Ecclesiastes 12:1), fear the Lord (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14), find joy in each day’s blessings (Ecclesiastes 2:24-25), and to as trust in the Lord in the midst of good days and bad days (Ecclesiastes 7:14), even when life seems like nothing more than a chasing after the wind (Ecclesiastes 1:14). I pray that God the Holy Spirit will fill each one of us with such hope even as we live with the realities that we face under the sun.

Toward the end of his life Martin Luther, with the perspective of an aged theologian and pastor, bemoaned the widespread neglect of Ecclesiastes. He believed that the book “deserves to be in everyone’s hands.” I am thankful for Dr. Lessing from Concordia St. Paul who has again placed this book into the hands of the pastors of our circuit as he gave a brief presentation for us. I invite you to place Ecclesiastes both in your hands and in your heart as we learn more about Chasing the Wind.

Pastor Schoenfeld