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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Smoke and Dust

We are starting a new series this week entitled, “Smoke and Dust.” The series will run a few weeks through the book of Ecclesiastes. I love the way Dave describes the series in our Community Email and other series teasers.

I once heard someone say, “It is a sin to bore people with the Word of God.” Wow. The book of Ecclesiastes deserves an introduction like this. See below : : :

Ecclesiastes is a book written by a burn out, a malcontent, a sage with a soul in a soulless world, given over to the corruptions of its lust. The entire book faithfully reflects the groaning and travailing of an exceptional mind: one which scorns to present a case which leaves out anything that would threaten it. The Preacher is tormented by each evidence of futility and tragedy, yet cannot in honesty renounce his faith.

Despite his conquered life, he believes.

Despite the way his people have counterfeited their national identity, he believes.

This book is a collection of his thoughts--like a notebook or a blog, into which he's jotted down his frustrations and reflections. He doesn't iron out all the wrinkles; he lets them stand and looks for God in their shadows. Ultimately, he finds every pursuit meaningless except one and can therefore be relentless in facing that final emptiness about life in this world . . . for there is more to life than living.

The Preacher shocks us into seeing life and death from ground level. He disturbs us by flaunting the only honest conclusions that life will allow. He pokes. He prods. He asks the question to which the rest of the Bible is the answer. But in the meantime, before an answer even begins to formulate, he supplies a rich metaphor for us to understand life. Care to know what it is?

You will be able to hear the podcasts for this message right here at Vertizontal. In the right column of this blog is a player for all the Westwinds’ podcasts.