Sunday, November 13, 2011

Ecclesiastes (Funeral Reading/Message)

My grandmother died last week and I had the honour of giving the following reading at her funeral.  The people attending were mostly non-churchgoing folk.  I wanted something that could provide some comfort but at the same time challenged people.  As always, I welcome your feedback.

This reading is from the book of Ecclesiastes which is wise king Solomon’s account of his search for meaning in life, and in death.

(3) What does man gain by all the toil at which he toils under the sun? (4) A generation goes, and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever.

2:4, 8, 21, 
(4) I made great works. I built houses and planted vineyards for myself. (8) I also gathered for myself silver and gold and the treasure of kings and provinces. I got singers, both men and women, and many concubines (20) [but] I turned about and gave my heart up to despair over all the toil of my labors under the sun, (21) because sometimes a person who has toiled with wisdom and knowledge and skill must leave everything to be enjoyed by someone who did not toil for it.

3:1-2, 12-13 
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: (2) a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; (12) I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; (13) also that everyone should eat and drin/>And Solomon’s second conclusion is that we will all die one day, and we are reminded of this in the death of all loves ones, so we need to ensure that we bear our own mortality in mind when we make decisions and go about our lives.