When Work is Meaningless

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Praising God 

Psalm 147:1 says 

Praise the Lord! How good is it to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise him! 

Our musicians will lead us in our first song of praise 


Bible Reading  

As we turn to this weeks Bible reading, let’s pray together: 

Heavenly Father, give us faith to receive your word, understanding to know what it means, and the will to put it into practice, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 

Our Bible reading this week is Ecclesiastes 2:17-3:22 

Toil Is Meaningless

17 So I hated life, because the work that is done under the sun was grievous to me. All of it is meaningless, a chasing after the wind. 18 I hated all the things I had toiled for under the sun, because I must leave them to the one who comes after me. 19 And who knows whether that person will be wise or foolish? Yet they will have control over all the fruit of my toil into which I have poured my effort and skill under the sun. This too is meaningless. 20 So my heart began to despair over all my toilsome labor under the sun. 21 For a person may labor with wisdom, knowledge and skill, and then they must leave all they own to another who has not toiled for it. This too is meaningless and a great misfortune.22 What do people get for all the toil and anxious striving with which they labor under the sun? 23 All their days their work is grief and pain; even at night their minds do not rest. This too is meaningless.

24 A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, 25 for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment? 26 To the person who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.

A Time for Everything

There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:

    a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.

What do workers gain from their toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 13 That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. 14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.

15 Whatever is has already been,
    and what will be has been before;
    and God will call the past to account.

16 And I saw something else under the sun:

In the place of judgment—wickedness was there,
    in the place of justice—wickedness was there.

17 I said to myself,

“God will bring into judgment
    both the righteous and the wicked,
for there will be a time for every activity,
    a time to judge every deed.”

18 I also said to myself, “As for humans, God tests them so that they may see that they are like the animals. 19 Surely the fate of human beings is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath; humans have no advantage over animals. Everything is meaningless. 20 All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return.21 Who knows if the human spirit rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth?”

22 So I saw that there is nothing better for a person than to enjoy their work, because that is their lot.For who can bring them to see what will happen after them?

 


Sermon 

Marty Kemp will now preach the sermon titled “When Work is Meaningless”. 

When Work is Meaningless

 
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Confession of Sin 

In telling the story of the Lost Son, Jesus describes how the son “came to his senses, saying ‘I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ So he got up and went to his father” (Luke 15:17-20). 

We are called to be like this lost Son, returning to God our Father with repentance and faith. Let us confess our sins, praying together 

Heavenly Father, You have loved us with an everlasting love, But we have often gone our own way, and rejected your will for our lives. We are sorry for our sins and turn away from them. For the sake of your son who died for us, forgive us, cleanse us, and change us. By your Holy Spirit, enable us to live for you, and to please you in every way, for the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Amen 

Jesus tells us of the Father’s response, explaining that “while the son was still a far way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him” (Luke 15:20). This is how our Heavenly Father will respond to each of us as we return to him in the same way. 

Allow Tim Young to lead you in prayer! 

Let’s finish our time of prayer with the Lord’s Prayer together: 

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, and 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 glory are yours, now and forever,
Amen 


Announcements 


Final Song 

Our musicians will lead us again as we close our time together. 


Benediction 

Hear these words from Numbers 6:24-26. 

The Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you. The Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace. 

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord, 

In the name of Christ, Amen! 

Thanks for joining us! See you next week! 

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