Another New Year
Ecclesiastes 1: 1-11
and Luke 2:41-50
by Rev. Frank Schaefer
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sometimes feel like Kohelet, the writer of Ecclesiastes?
ever seem to you like your life is caught in a never-ending cycle? You get up in
the morning, as you always do, you get to your work, or to school, only to do
what you always do. After you're done with one project, there will already be
the next one waiting for you. After finishing a term paper there will be already
another one to write.
mythology there is a story about Sisyphus whom the gods appointed to spend his
entire life to roll a heavy boulder up a mountain only to roll it over the
cliff, and start the process all over again. I think we all face times where we
feel like Sisyphus or the writer of Ecclesiastes. When we feel like an
insignificant little cog in the machinery of society. In the end nothing really
changes; none of what we do or say matters, none of it makes a lasting
question at the root of Kohelet’s musings is an existential human one that asks
at one. We want to know if our lives really make a difference on this planet.
Does it really matter how we live? Does our toil, our care, our service really
matter? Or will it not make a difference? Will one generation come after the
other repeating the mistakes of the previous generations? Is there an ultimate
reason and purpose for your and my existence in this world? Is there a purpose
for my life?
So, here we are at the beginning of a new year – again. Interesting how the
existential question of purpose in life seems to be raised just by the mere fact
of the calendar turning. . . .
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