The writer of the Message calls this writer The Quester. He says, “His task is to expose our total incapacity to find the meaning and completion of our lives on our own”, he’s after meaning and he doesn’t find it in a world without God.
The final chapter of this book is once again poetic. A very accurate picture of the failing body in old age, writings over 2000 years old, is bang up to date! Every faculty fails and just as we cannot create meaning in our lives apart from God, we cannot prevent our bodies and our minds wearing out. And however much we might seek to resist this, there is no stopping time. So what does Jesus want to say to us about this? Remember Him!
We need Jesus to complete our lives at the beginning and at our lives’ completion, without Him, this terrifying picture is so accurate and so filled with fear and when so many look to the future now, it is with fear. We have really been brought up short by a sense that you really have no idea what’s around the corner and what can change. Lord, we need You here!
My experience of my dad’s Alzheimer’s encourages me to get as much scripture into my mind and the minds of those I love NOW! Remember Him! Whatever my Dad forgot, it was never scripture or the words of hymns and songs, I encourage you to build some mental barns and store up that treasure while you can.
The writer doesn’t celebrate the wisdom of those with more years, reminding us not to take that for granted! This is a picture of the end of life without that relationship with God and it is fearful, troubling and reflects the isolation of the elderly today too, made more isolated by the Covid19 crisis. The crisis has brought death far closer to us than we would have ever believed this time last year. More have died of this sickness in the UK in the last 5 months than UK civilians died in the whole of WW2. How do we witness Jesus in this time? How do we sow hope, peace and joy? Lord show us how, help us seek out Your ways and wisdom for this season, we need You more than ever.
I’m thinking of the blessing of so many older friends at FOL as I write this, especially as now I am definitely one of the older members of my current congregation! Today’s society encourages us to “stay young” - an impossibility. Let’s pray that we can accept the place in life where God has put us now! And as we come to the end of Ecclesiastes, let us thank Him that He is the Alpha and the Omega and that He holds us in His hands.
High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heav’n’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my vision, O Ruler of all.