Sunny Days in Heaven
Spiritual/Political/Philosophical Blog on the Nature of Truth and Falsehood and Heaven

Wednesday, May 26, 2004  


Having reread that book recently, an insight occurred to me that put the book into a whole other perspective.

Occasionally, I will talk to someone who admits that the only book of the Bible they like is Ecclesiastes. They aesthetically enjoy its nihilism much as they do Shakespeare's in Hamlet or Lear (or that paragon of cynicism - Troilus and Cressida).

Yet, to read only hedonistic nihilism in "eat, drink, and be merry . . . vanity of vanities . . . this, too, is chasing after wind" is to miss obvious references to God that are not dismissive of him.

But one thing, and one thing only, that goes unmentioned in the book as vain and ultimately empty is Prayer.

There is no discussion or reference to Prayer as a door out of the vain world.

There is certainly prayer which is vain, which chases after wind, but there is prayer which leads one deeper into God, and uncovers many mysteries, for we learn that there is nothing about ourselves or God which God doesn't want us to know.

Ecclesiastes is one of the most beautifuly written books of the Bible. And it is so because it tells so many "home" truths about ordinary life and being. It patently reveals all the illusions which people cling to or cherish without regard for anyone's feelings. But it fails to convey the way out of the paradoxes it illustrates.

We had to wait for Jesus to do that for us.

posted by Mark Butterworth | 12:03 PM |