Good day friends! I pray your week and weekend went well!
Readings for Sunday, August 4: 8th Sunday after Pentecost
Ecclesiastes 1:2, 12-14, 2:18-26; Psalm 100; Colossians 3:1-11; Luke 12:13-21
I hated all the things I had toiled for under the sun, because I must leave them to the one who comes after me. …A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work. This too I see, is from the hand of God, for without him who can eat or find enjoyment?
Ecclesiastes 2:18, 24-25
We’ve just moved. This has been our fifth move in our married life. With each home we have spent much time and money renovating and fixing up to make it beautiful and our own. In fact, my daughter has recently said that her childhood life was spent in renovation.
Now, with having just left a home to which we did extensive work in order to make it updated and improved, I can certainly understand why Solomon is down in the dumps when he considers man’s hard work and toilsome labour being done for someone else to enjoy. However, that is only true if the one doing the work is doing it for himself, as the rich man did in Jesus’ parable of the rich fool. In fact, perhaps Solomon even tried to create beautiful masterpieces and store up things in order to find contentment, but learned that such things do not bring joy and satisfaction.
As Solomon learned, and Jesus tried to explain, it is not the stuff that brings purpose to our life, but the focus of our work. If we are working to please ourselves, our joy will be short lived. However, when we see all we have and do as a gift from God whether for ourselves to enjoy or to be blessings for others, the end result is pure satisfaction in serving our Lord, and we live in a state of thanksgiving that he considered us worthy to care for these precious blessings: children, spouse, home, employment, etc. Our daily toil is then a continuous response of thanksgiving to the Lord for the gifts and abilities he has given us, and we are simply caring for the blessings he has placed in our lives.
We loved the home we left and we thoroughly enjoyed it, along with all the changes we made to make it ours. In the end, it came down to the fact that we simply hoped that we had been good stewards of that piece of God’s creation with which we had been blessed and that it would be enjoyed by the new owners, as much as we enjoyed it.
With our days focussed on our heavenly Father, in the light of Christ’s redeeming love, we can trust that each day has a purpose and that we are simply stewards of all that he has blessed us with until the day he calls us home. Therefore in Christ, we can proclaim with David, “Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his.” (Psalm 100:1-3a) and every day, “eat and drink and find satisfaction in [our] work.” (Ecclesiastes 2:224)
Prayer: Dear Lord, help me to see that all I have is from you. I am humbled to be considered worthy of caring for such precious blessings: souls you love and the creation you made. Help me to be a good steward of all the blessings you have bestowed upon me. May I eat and drink and find satisfaction in all I do, to your glory! And when the time comes to pass them along to others, may they be found to be blessings to them. In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN!