Life is Meaningless … or is it?

If you’re viewing this page as a group, pick someone to be the reader to read the normal print, while everyone else can respond with the words in bold. 

Introduction 

As we come before God today, let us pray that he might be at work within us 

God our Father, we pray that the message of your Son will dwell richly among us we hear from your word and sing with thankfulness in our hearts to you. And whatever we do, in word or deed, may it be done in the name of our Saviour Jesus Christ, and for his glory.  Amen. 


Praise  

Hebrews 13:15 encourages us with these words: 

Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. 

We will now be led in praise by our musicians! 


Bible Reading 

Let us pray as we turn to the Bible  

Gracious Lord, you have caused all Holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: help us to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that, encouraged and supported by your Holy Word, we may embrace and always hold fast the joyful hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in our Saviour Jesus Christ.  Amen. 

Ecclesiastes 1:1-2:16

1 The words of the Teacher, son of David, king in Jerusalem:

“Meaningless! Meaningless!”
    says the Teacher.
“Utterly meaningless!
    Everything is meaningless.”

What do people gain from all their labors
    at which they toil under the sun?
Generations come and generations go,
    but the earth remains forever.
The sun rises and the sun sets,
    and hurries back to where it rises.
The wind blows to the south
    and turns to the north;
round and round it goes,
    ever returning on its course.
All streams flow into the sea,
    yet the sea is never full.
To the place the streams come from,
    there they return again.
All things are wearisome,
    more than one can say.
The eye never has enough of seeing,
    nor the ear its fill of hearing.
What has been will be again,
    what has been done will be done again;
    there is nothing new under the sun.
10 Is there anything of which one can say,
    “Look! This is something new”?
It was here already, long ago;
    it was here before our time.
11 No one remembers the former generations,
    and even those yet to come
will not be remembered
    by those who follow them.

12 I, the Teacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem. 13 I applied my mind to study and to explore by wisdom all that is done under the heavens. What a heavy burden God has laid on mankind! 14 I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.

15 What is crooked cannot be straightened;
    what is lacking cannot be counted.

16 I said to myself, “Look, I have increased in wisdom more than anyone who has ruled over Jerusalem before me; I have experienced much of wisdom and knowledge.” 17 Then I applied myself to the understanding of wisdom, and also of madness and folly, but I learned that this, too, is a chasing after the wind.

18 For with much wisdom comes much sorrow;
    the more knowledge, the more grief.

2 I said to myself, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure to find out what is good.” But that also proved to be meaningless. 2 “Laughter,” I said, “is madness. And what does pleasure accomplish?” 3 I tried cheering myself with wine, and embracing folly—my mind still guiding me with wisdom. I wanted to see what was good for people to do under the heavens during the few days of their lives.

I undertook great projects: I built houses for myself and planted vineyards. I made gardens and parks and planted all kinds of fruit trees in them. I made reservoirs to water groves of flourishing trees. I bought male and female slaves and had other slaves who were born in my house. I also owned more herds and flocks than anyone in Jerusalem before me. I amassed silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces. I acquired male and female singers, and a harem[a] as well—the delights of a man’s heart. I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem before me. In all this my wisdom stayed with me.

10 I denied myself nothing my eyes desired;
    I refused my heart no pleasure.
My heart took delight in all my labor,
    and this was the reward for all my toil.
11 Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done
    and what I had toiled to achieve,
everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind;
    nothing was gained under the sun.

12 Then I turned my thoughts to consider wisdom,
    and also madness and folly.
What more can the king’s successor do
    than what has already been done?
13 I saw that wisdom is better than folly,
    just as light is better than darkness.
14 The wise have eyes in their heads,
    while the fool walks in the darkness;
but I came to realize
    that the same fate overtakes them both.

15 Then I said to myself,

“The fate of the fool will overtake me also.
    What then do I gain by being wise?”
I said to myself,
    “This too is meaningless.”
16 For the wise, like the fool, will not be long remembered;
    the days have already come when both have been forgotten.
Like the fool, the wise too must die!


Sermon 

Marty will now preach the sermon entitled “Life is Meaningless … or is it?” 

Life is Meaningless … or is it?

 
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We’ll now encourage one another with the words of the Nicene Creed 

We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth; of all that is, seen and unseen.  

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten not made, of one being with the Father; through him all things were made.  

For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven, was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and became truly human. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. 

On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and his kingdom will have no end. 

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets.  

We believe in one holy, catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen. 

Confession and Prayers 

After our prayers we will share in Holy Communion. When we share the cup of the Lord and break bread together, we express our common participation in the benefits of Jesus’ death for us. We should examine ourselves before we eat the bread and drink the cup, confessing our sins to God, acknowledging the need to care for one another, and renewing our trust in the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus. 

Almighty God, our heavenly Father, you are merciful and kind, but we have gone our own way, not loving you as we ought, nor loving our neighbours as ourselves. We have sinned against you in thought, word and deed and in what we have failed to do. We deserve your condemnation. Father, forgive us. Help us to love you and our neighbour, and to live for your honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 

In Titus 2:14 we read of Jesus, our saviour and redeemer… 

…who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. 

Jesus has purified us from our sins! Amen!  

Marty will now continue leading us in prayer. 

Let’s conclude our time of prayer with the Lord’s Prayer 

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your Name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. 
Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours  now and for ever. Amen. 

Communion 

Martin will now lead us in Holy Communion


Announcements


Song 

Our musicians will lead us in responding to God’s mercy with a song of praise 


Conclusion 

Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the Throne, and to the Lamb. 

Praise and Glory, wisdom and thanks, honour, power and strength, be to our Godfor ever and ever. Amen. 

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord. 

In the name of Christ. Amen. 

Thanks for sharing with us! See you next Sunday.  

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