In this sermon, Greg Ho preaches from the first chapter of Ecclesiastes concerning the futility of life without God. Greg Ho explains how all labor and pursuits done without God produce no lasting joy. Greg then discusses three conclusions from Ecclesiastes as to how people can live a full and joyful life:
1) Realize your own powerlessness
2) Enjoy life as a gift from God
3) Prepare for the life to come
When I was in English class in high school, I remember reading about the Greek Myths. We had this unit about the Greek myths. My favorite has to have been the myth of Sisyphus. You guys probably know the story.
In the story, Sisyphus was an evil king who made bitter enemies out of everybody, from humans to the Greek gods alike. When the Greek gods finally caught up to him, they were so angry with him that they devised a special punishment in the afterlife just for him. So this was his punishment: Sisyphus would have to, with great effort, push a heavy boulder up a hill.
But there’s a twist: when he got up to the top of the hill, the boulder was enchanted by the gods, so that it would move away from him, and then it would sort of jump away and would roll right back down the hill. And so Sisyphus would have to go back down and start rolling up the boulder again because he would never be done. This would be repeated again and again, for eternity.
I think this myth is so unforgettable for me because it so memorably illustrates the frustration and futility that we sometimes experience in our lives, doesn’t it? I think there are times when we have all felt this way at some time in our lives. Work, sleep, eat, repeat. Work, sleep, eat, repeat. Or for Juan and I, it’s work, sleep, code. Work, sleep, code. Around and around we go, and up the hill and down the hill.
But have you ever stopped to ask yourself: what’s is the point of it all? Where is it all going? Are our lives just one big Sisyphean punishment? By the way, this is a real word.
Is there any meaning to it at all? Is there any purpose to it at all? That’s the question I’d like to examine with you Biblically this morning from the book of Ecclesiastes. Please turn with me to Ecclesiastes 1.
Now while you turn there, let me tell you a little bit about the book and who wrote it. The author of the book of Ecclesiastes is King Solomon, easily one of the most powerful kings in the ancient world. He ruled during the golden years of Israel at the height of Israel’s power and might.
King Solomon himself was especially blessed by God with particular wisdom. In fact, it says in 1 Kings 3:12 that God gave Solomon:
a wise and discerning heart, so that there has been no one like you before you, nor shall one like you arise after you.
So Solomon was singular in his wisdom. It’s no exaggeration to say that Solomon was the wisest man who’s ever lived. If somebody could puzzle out the meaning of life and make some sense of it, then it would be Solomon. At some point in his life, that’s exactly what he sets out to do.
As king, he had the resources, the wealth, and the power to investigate this question thoroughly while pulling out all the stops. And when he was done, he wrote for us the book of Ecclesiastes. Let’s start reading in chapter 1 verse 2:
“Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher, “Vanity of vanities! All is vanity.”
Stop right there for a minute. This is not talking us about spending too much time on our hair. When I was younger I used to spend a lot of time on my hair, trying to make it look like I spent no time on my hair. The “just rolled out of bed I look good” look, you know? One day, I realized that I could save a lot of time if I actually spent no time on my hair, so that’s what I do now. That’s what you see before you today. That’s not the type of vanity he’s talking about here.
Another translation of this word vanity here, in other translations of the Bible, is futility. Doing things in vain is to do things in futility, to do things uselessly with no purpose. It’s all futile. It’s all meaningless.
Now the interesting thing about this construction here of how Solomon does this is that he gives you the answer before the question. He doesn’t actually ask the question, right? The book kind of just starts out: vanity of vanities. It’s kind of like Jeopardy: he kind of gives you the answer first, and then the question.
So what’s the question? It’s in verse 3:
What advantage does man have in all his work
Which he does under the sun?
That’s the question: what advantage do we have? What lasting gain is there in any of this? The answer that Solomon gave already in verse 2 is: nothing. It’s all futility.
This is not off to great start here in our search for the meaning of life. Let’s see if we can continue and get something better here.
So what he does in the next few verses is: Solomon explains with a few word pictures why this is the only logical conclusion that a honest mind will reach. I’ll just read verses 4-7 to you. See if you can picture in your mind what he’s talking about. Here it is:
4 A generation goes and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever. 5 Also, the sun rises and the sun sets; And hastening to its place it rises there again. 6 Blowing toward the south, Then turning toward the north,
The wind continues swirling along;
And on its circular courses the wind returns. 7 All the rivers flow into the sea, Yet the sea is not full. To the place where the rivers flow,
There they flow again.
What is he saying with all this? Here’s his point: You cannot affect the universe in any meaningful way. You cannot affect the world in any way that truly matters. People live, people die, generations come and go. Does anything really change? No, the earth continues like it did before.
Regardless of what you do, whether you live or die, whether you’re happy or not, whether you are rich or not, whether you’re a good person or not, the sun doesn’t care about that. It will rise relentlessly day in and day out. Likewise the wind blows in circles on the earth in its cycle like it has done for all millennia. And the waters — the rivers flow to the sea and back to the rain then back to the river then back to the sea. Around and around it goes.
And the universe is stuck like a broken record, in a repeating cycle over and over. We are stuck in an endless loop, and we can’t get out of it. It’s an endless, futile loop, without any point, without any purpose. It’s like groundhog day – we’re living the same day over and over.
Solomon’s point is: this has been happening before you were born. It’s happened generations before, and it will continue to happen after you are long gone. So then, he asks: what is the point? Compared to the vast powers in the cosmos, you are barely a flea. You are insignificant of any notice. And against all of this, you are forced to consider the smallness of your lives, how insignificant and temporary we really are.
The universe has been doing this a long time, cycle and cycle and cycle. But you’ve only been here for a short while. Psalm 144:4 puts it like this:
Man is like a mere breath; His days are like a passing shadow.
You know how on a sunny day you see a shadow, and then you look over a few more minutes afterwards and the shadow is gone. That’s how your life is. Your life is a whisper spoken into the wind, barely audible for a few seconds, and then gone.
This is already pretty depressing. He’s actually just getting started. In the next few verses, Solomon takes that futility that he observes in the universe and he brings it into our lives. Verse 8:
All things are wearisome; Man is not able to tell it. The eye is not satisfied with seeing, Nor is the ear filled with hearing.
Remember in verse 7, he was talking about the cycle of the sea and how the rivers flow into the but are never able to fill it. And in the same way, the world is pouring into human beings through your eyes and ears, but it will never fill you up. It will never satisfy you or bring you to a point of completion. You are going around in the same circle as the universe is, chasing your own tail, seeking meaning and satisfaction but never finding it.
But it gets worse. Look in verse 9-10:
9That which has been is that which will be,
And that which has been done is that which will be done.
So there is nothing new under the sun.
10 Is there anything of which one might say,
“See this, it is new”?
Already it has existed for ages
Which were before us.
Not only are we never satisfied, but there’s nothing new out there that has any hope of breaking the futile cycle that we find ourselves in.
And the state of our lives is this: we’re just going around in circles. We are going nowhere fast! This is like that round-a-bout out in Somerville, where you are just stuck in that circle because you can’t get out of that traffic. You are afraid to get out at the exit. That’s kind of like what it is.
Now you might say: what about the technology we have? What about the phones and the computers? That seems new. But that’s not what he’s talking about. He’s talking about the human condition. Think about it: despite all of technology that you have, has anything really changed? Money still flows from one place to another and back again, but nothing ever gets accomplished. The powerful rise and fall, nations jockey for power endlessly. And for what? Where does it all end?
Verse 11 is where he drives that nail straight into the coffin. Because in the end, the desire in all of our hearts is to matter, right? We want our lives to count for something. We want to make some type of difference.?
But look what he says in verse 11:
There is no remembrance of earlier things;
And also of the later things which will occur,
There will be for them no remembrance
Among those who will come later still.
Not only are we doomed to never be satisfied, when you are gone nobody will even remember you. Think about it. Do you know anything about your great grandparents? Or what about your great great grandparents? I don’t even know who they are. It only takes about 2 or 3 generations for even the memory of you to pass away. And you will be forgotten. The point is this: Where is the meaning or significance in all of this futility?
Now in the next part of the book, Solomom will try to prove this futility of life out of his own experience, in case you didn’t believe him and you need more evidence. We’re only going to briefly skim these. Let me just tell you a little bit. You can look down in verses 12-13:
12 I, the Preacher, have been king over Israel in Jerusalem. 13 And I set my mind to seek and explore by wisdom concerning all that has been done under heaven.
Then he gives us the results of his experiment right in verse 14:
I have seen all the works which have been done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and striving after wind.
That’s the result. He’s not building any suspense here. He’s telling you the results before he gives you the experimental methodology. He says all of it is striving after the wind. What does that mean? It’s kind of like: its been pretty cold out lately, and when you go out of the door in the morning, you can see your breath in front of you. When I was a kid, I would try to see if I can catch that in my hand. It looks like you are a dragon, you are breathing fire, and you try to grab this thing. That’s silly right? Because the moment you try to grab it, it just slips through your fingers and it’s gone.
That’s what Solomon is saying here. All of life’s pursuits, the best life has to offer, is just like that. Everything he’s tried, the moment he thinks he finds some significance, some meaning, it slips through his fingers. Let’s look at some of the things he tried.
First in verse 16, he tries education and knowledge. He tries the pursuit of academic understanding. It says that his
mind has observed a wealth of wisdom and knowledge
And so Solomon becomes the most learned and credentialed of all men – not so hard for the wisest person in the whole world. The best schools, the best degrees, and he arrives at the pinnacle of academic achievement. What does he find there? All he finds is more futility, but also increased pain. You can look at the end of verse 17:
17 I realized that this also is striving after wind. 18 Because in much wisdom there is much grief, and increasing knowledge results in increasing pain.
See what Solomon learned is that the more he knew, the emptier it all was, and the sadder he became. So wisdom didn’t do him any good.
Next he explores pleasure. Chapter 2 verse 1:
I said to myself, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure. So enjoy yourself.”
If we were to do this experiment today, that might be indulging yourself in vacations, leisure, video games, partying, sports.
What’s the conclusion from all of it? Verse 2:
I said of laughter, “It is madness,” and of pleasure, “What does it accomplish?”
Solomon found, as he have all found, that after the vacation ends, after the credits roll in the movie, after the hangover wears off from the party, nothing has changed.
All that pleasure did was provide him a temporary distraction. After it’s over, all his problems were still there waiting for him. The lack of meaning is still there, waiting for him. Pleasure can’t fill the void in your hearts.
He tried other things, which you can read about on your own in the next verses. Drugs and alcohol he tried in verse 3. He tried losing himself in his work in verse 4. He tried accumulating for himself treasures and possessions in verses 5-6. He went on a shopping spree in verse 7. He tried accumulating money in verse 8. At the end of verse 8, he tried sex.
Now that’s some thorough experimental work there. I’m not sure what else is left. I think he’s covered it all. Then you ask: what is the conclusion after all of that experimentation? His conclusion is verse 11 of chapter 2:
Thus I considered all my activities which my hands had done and the labor which I had exerted, and behold all was vanity and striving after wind and there was no profit under the sun.
See, every bit of it, he found to be meaningless. There’s no profit in it. There’s no eternal gain in it, no lasting gain. But why? Why was there no lasting gain? What is the fundamental problem that Solomon had that made it all meaningless? We find that in verse 15:
15 Then I said to myself, “As is the fate of the fool, it will also befall me. Why then have I been extremely wise?” So I said to myself, “This too is vanity.” 16 For there is no lasting remembrance of the wise man as with the fool, inasmuch as in the coming days all will be forgotten. And how the wise man and the fool alike die!
Here’s the fundamental problem: You can be a wise man or a fool. You can be rich or poor. You can have a big family or no family at all. You can meet that deadline at work or not You can be a millionaire or not. No matter what you are, you cannot escape the fundamental reality that you will die. So then what difference does it all make? Because you will die, and you can’t take any of it with you, so are you really better off?
See we don’t often think about these things because I think we as humans devote an extraordinary amount of time and energy not thinking about our own deaths. That’s pretty much all we do, in fact. This morning though, I want you to consider the imminence of your own death. It may not be that far away.
It can happen in a blink of an eye. When you leave here today, the only thing standing between you and death may be just one guy behind the wheel on his cell phone. And when you spend enough time facing the reality of your own imminent demise, you might realize, as Solomon did, that most of what you’re doing is worthless. Its just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. That pretty much sums up human life right there. Solomon puts it like this in Verse 17:
17 So I hated life, for the work which had been done under the sun was grievous to me; because everything is futility and striving after wind.
Well, I think that’s the end of the sermon today. Let’s stop right there. That’s pretty depressing. Let’s see if we can turn this ship around.
There’s one phrase that gives you a little bit of hope. One phrase in that verse. In fact, we’ve been skipping over it in the other verses as well. Did you catch it? Look at verse 17 again. It’s these three words: “Under the sun”. Whenever he’s talking about that in the book of Ecclesiastes, he’s using that as code for “on the earth, apart from God”. That’s what he means. That’s right, we haven’t brought God into the picture here yet, have we?
But when we bring God into the picture, it will change everything.
I want to show you that, but before we do I just want there to be no misunderstandings here: if you’re not a Christian today, then the message for you really does stop right there. If you are not a Christian, then this is all you have without God: endless futility and no way out.
And if you have bought into the dominant worldview of our culture, which is naturalism, the idea that there is no God, that the universe started not with creation by a sovereign creator but with a big bang, that life came about through random collisions of chemicals, that man came by a freak genetic mutation on an ape, then I challenge you, and the wisest man in the world challenges you to tell you how he’s wrong here.
Nobody has been able to do it, by the way. The world’s best philosophers, for thousands of years, have been unable to provide an answer to this argument. If you’re just a bag of chemicals, then you really don’t have any significance, eternal, moral or otherwise. So you don’t matter. Nothing matters, and for you there is no lasting meaning. You can’t argue with that.
You can try to distract yourself with Netflix, Hulu, Youtube, Facebook, sports, video games so you don’t have to think about it. But when it ends, you’ll be left with the same fundamental meaninglessness that you started out with.
But this morning, if you’re are here and you are a Christian — you don’t get a pass on what Solomon just said either. Remember, everything the author has said describes reality of life on this earth, whether you are Christian or whether you are not. Even Christians can spend their lives chasing after the futile things in life, and many of us do. Perhaps even some of us here do this.
But Christian, you don’t have to spend time chasing after the wind. You don’t have to spend your life like that. There’s a better way. Let’s see what happens when Solomon brings God into the picture. For the rest of our time this morning, I just want you to see three conclusions that Solomon gives us about the meaning of life.
We’re going to jump around a little bit because it’s scattered throughout the book. You can try to turn with me if you can. The first conclusion is this: realize your own powerlessness.
See the real reason that you cannot have any lasting impact on this world, the reason that you can’t extract any lasting gains for yourself, is because you are powerless to do so. We all are. You are powerless. And guess what? This is by God’s design.
Flip over to chapter 3 and look at verse 14. This is what Solomon says:
I know that everything God does will remain forever; there is nothing to add to it and there is nothing to take from it, for God has so worked that men should fear Him.
See, God is absolutely sovereign and omnipotent in this universe. Any control that you may think you have is an illusion, because the entire power of the universe belongs to God. Realize this: you don’t control anything, really. You didn’t control what time or place you were born. You did not control which family you would be born into. You didn’t pick how smart you are, what your looks are, what your personality is, or who your family members are. All that was decreed for you by God, just like he decrees everything else about your life.
See the world is not your oyster. The universe was not created in order so that you could find fulfillment, so that you could get something out of it. It was created for this: to display the glory and power of God. See God alone is in control. That realization is meant to invoke a fear in you , a fear and an awe of God. We need to realize: this is God’s universe, and we are just living in it for a short time as His guest.
And it’s only when you understand that, that we are powerless creatures living under the pleasure of a sovereign God, can you be truly content with what you have. We’re not in control of any of that. God is. Whatever good you have in your life, you have that in your life because God gave it to you. God gave that to you.
And that realization of your powerlessness makes you ready to understand Solomon’s second conclusion, which is this: enjoy this life as a gift from God.
When we accept that God is the one in ultimate control, we’re ready to realize the truth that every good thing we have in life is a gift from God. From now on, very breath you take, every moment you have on this earth, every dime in your pocket, or every morsel of flavor in your mouth, you need to remember to enjoy that as God’s gift to you. It is a gift from a loving God.
One of my favorite things about Christmas morning is to see the delight in the eyes of my kids when they open their presents. I mean, the average life span of any toy on our house is like 2 hours before it goes in the trash. But in that first thirty seconds, their eyes light up. That delight on their face is priceless.
That childlike delight is what we ought to have every moment of our lives. You continually ought to have that sense of delight – opening a gift from God, every moment. Every moment is a gift from a sovereign God who is in control of everything. He’s choosing continually to give good gifts to you.
And God the gift giver wants you to enjoy the gift. Realize that -let’s see this again from the book. Go to chapter 3 verse 12:
12 I know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and to do good in one’s lifetime; 13 moreover, that every man who eats and drinks sees good in all his labor—it is the gift of God.
Flip over to chapter 5 verse 19:
Furthermore, as for every man to whom God has given riches and wealth, He has also empowered him to eat from them and to receive his reward and rejoice in his labor; this is the gift of God.
This is a recurring theme in the book. I just gave you two of the places. Do you notice how once God entered the picture, everything changed. Futility becomes joy. Hopelessness becomes delight.
Now we have to ask, Christian – have you at some level forgotten that every moment of your life is a gift from a loving God? Have you lost your childlike delight in life? Christians ought to be the happiest people in the world.
So enjoy your work – it is a gift from God. Enjoy your family. When you sit down tonight for dinner, take a moment to realize: wow, this moment is a gift from God. When you’re changing a dirty diaper, realize this is also gift from God, maybe a little smellier than the other gifts, but you get the point. Enjoy your recreation. Enjoy your pastimes. Enjou your pleasure. Realize that these are temporary. Don’t forget to enjoy them because they are temporary. And they are fleeting. God tells you: make sure you enjoy it because it is His gift to you. He wouldn’t give it to you if He didn’t want you to enjoy it.
But there’s a little bit of an asterisk here, a little bit of a caveat, a little bit of a warning. That’s going to be our third and final point this morning, a final conclusion about life’s meaning. We have to see this as well.
The third point we have this morning is this: prepare for the life to come. Make sure you are preparing for the life to come. Look in the second half of verse 9 of Ecclesiastes 11. Solomon says:
And follow the impulses of your heart and the desires of your eyes. Yet know that God will bring you to judgment for all these things.
By the way, while you’re enjoying life, don’t forget that there is a judgement.
I want you to see one more verse. Flip over to Ecclesiastes 12:13. This is the very end of the book, his last conclusion of how he ends the book here.
13 The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. 14 For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden,
Stop right there for a second. See, the message is clear. There will be a judgement.
Now this may seem like a downer to you, but it actually isn’t. As a Christian, your reaction to the promise of a judgement should be joy. Because this is what it means: all the wrongs in the world, all of the injustice, the unfairness, the oppression, the victimization, the cruelty, the hate, the loss, all the pain, it’s not all for nothing. It’s not all meaningless suffering. At the judgement, God will set it all right.
Whenever you see something on the news and your heart says: that ought not to be, know that at the judgement, God will set that right. And when that day comes, it will not be dread we feel but joy. We will proclaim with God: It is very good. It will be perfect at last. No more will the wicked prosper while the righteous suffer. No more will the weak be unjustly oppressed by the strong. That’s where the world is headed.
By the way, I want you to know that this was the plan along. In fact, listen to Romans 8:19-21:
19 For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it,
By the way, who subjected it? God did because of the sin of man, because of the fall. He had cursed the earth to futility. It wasn’t always that way, but it is because of the sin of man. But is that the end? No, it’s not the end. What does it say next?
in hope 21 that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.
You see, what judgement means for you is the end of the corruption that has plagued the universe since the fall. Christians who have put their faith and trust in Christ need not fear judgement at all, because Christ has paid the penalty for all of your sins. You will not be judged in that way. Non-christians though ought to be pretty worried, because with Christ, God will hold you into account for all your sins, even the ones that, it says in Ecclesiastes, you don’t think anyone sees. Almighty God sees it all.
Finally, there’s one more thing in Ecclesiastes. We kind of stopped before the end, so let’s just look at that one last thing, in Ecclesiastes 12:14:
For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden whether it is good or evil.
We’ve talked about the judgement of evil already. We kind of know what that means. But what does he mean by the judgement of good?
And here’s where I think is the twist ending of Ecclesiastes. It’s like a twist ending at the end of the movie where you suddenly realize that main character was a ghost or something, and nobody can see him. Now your mind is working to reinterpret the whole move in light of that. I think this is the twist ending of Ecclesiastes. Here’s what this means: it all matters. Actually, it all matters.
Once God comes into the picture, your whole life suddenly has a purpose. It is not futility after all. Because when we realize that good will be judged, it becomes a completely different ballgame. See it’s true that no matter how much money you have, or how many possessions you have, you will not be able to take any of that with you when you die.
But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal;
Let me go through that again, because I think we skip over one of the most important part of the verse. It says this: Store up for who? Yourselves. You are not storing up treasures for God – that’s not what the verse says. You are not storing up treasure for your church, or for your parents, or for your family or spouse. You are storing up treasure in heaven for yourself. You have the opportunity, on this earth, to accumulate treasure for yourself.
This is how I think about it. There’s this bank in heaven – maybe we’ll call it the New Jerusalem Bank. The day you became a christian, Jesus opened an account in your name. You have an account there.
And here on this earth, We worry a lot about whether we’ll have enough for retirement, college savings. We hire financial planners. We worry about our 401ks and our stock balances. Here’s the thing: you can’t take any of that with you. But you can take your heavenly bank account with you all the way into eternity. See, in a sense, we have found a loophole to the futility of the world.
All your time on this earth suddenly matters. You can accumulate lasting treasure. There is something you can do that will last. There is a point to it all. How much have you invested into your afterlife retirement plan?
You might be asking: how do I do that? How does that even work? The Bible tells you exactly how to accumulate treasure in heaven. How do I do that? There’s many ways. I’m just going to give you some:
– You accumulate treasure when you do good and you love your enemies, lending and expecting nothing in return (Luke 6:35).
– You accumulate rewards when you faithfully preach the gospel that the Lord has commanded (1 Cor 9:17).
– You accumulate rewards by patiently enduring persecution for Jesus’s name (Romans 8:18, 1 Peter 2:19).
– You accumulate rewards by ministering to, loving, and serving the people of God in the church (Hebrews 6:10).
– You accumulate rewards by giving generously to God’s kingdom causes (Luke 6:38).
– You accumulate rewards by diligently building God’s church (1 Cor 3:8).
You get the idea. Most of these have to do with living life consistently with God’s commands, preaching the gospel, loving God’s people, and building His church.
And note that God isn’t really looking for superhuman feats here.
The good news is that God is a exceedingly generous God. Even the smallest acts of service will not be overlooked. Matthew 10:42 tells us this:
And whoever in the name of a disciple gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water to drink, truly I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.”
God sees everything and He will not forget to add even the smallest and most imperfect acts of love to your account. So Christian, take a moment to assess: how healthy is heavenly bank account? Are YOU investing wisely for the future?
I think we’ll be surprised when we get there. We’ll find that some people who here are relatively poor in material wealth, yet they have big servant hearts and a love for Gods people, in heaven these will be the billionaires. How much heavenly treasure do you think 30, or 40, or 50 years of faithful service is worth? I hope we can all have that. See that’s what we need to be invsting in.
Well Calvary, what is the meaning of life? Without God, there is no meaning. There is none. There is no lasting gain, because all will fade away.
But with God, everything changes. God’s sovereignty makes meaning out of the meaninglessness, because we recognize that every moment of our lives is a gift from God for us to delight in.
And, recognizing the impending judgement of God, we can finally understand the true meaning of life. It’s a chance to build our estates for the life to come; to store up treasures in heaven, where it will last for you forever. That’s true value. That’s worth striving for.
So Calvary, let us all invest aggressively now, while we still can. Because life is so short, and we will all be there so soon. We will all be standing at the judgement seat. So the time to invest is now. Amen?
Let’s pray. Father, thank you for your word that answers even our deepest questions about life. Help us to frequently remember that we are nothing more than a vapor that appears over the earth for a little while and vanishes in to the wind.
But also help us to remember that you have given us a way to transcend our temporariness and to build for the future in a way that will last forever and ever. Help us to do that as a church here at Calvary. In Christ’s name we pray, Amen.