Romantic Realism: A Meditation of Ecclesiastes 3:16-22

The famous “To everything there is a season” passage of Ecclesiastes teaches us how to die, and it teaches us how to live.  This next passage that follows pushes to apply those teaching when confronted with the harsh realities of life.“Moreover, I saw under the sun that in the place of justice, even there was … Continue reading Romantic Realism: A Meditation of Ecclesiastes 3:16-22

A Time To Live (Meditation on Ecclesiastes 3:1-15, part 2)

Ecclesiastes teaches us how to die, but it also teaches us how to live.  Our life is a series of continual releases.  But our life is also a series of embraces, taking hold of that which is before us. In the Jewish tradition, the feast of Sukkot (going on right now), also known as the feast … Continue reading A Time To Live (Meditation on Ecclesiastes 3:1-15, part 2)

A Time to Die (Meditation on Ecclesiastes 3:1-11, part 1)

Within the human heart there exists, though we try to deny it, a longing for permanence. The great poet John Keats wrestles with this longing in his most famous works:  “Bright star, Would I Were Steadfast as Thou Art” and “Ode to a Grecian Urn” reveal his yearning to be free from this world of … Continue reading A Time to Die (Meditation on Ecclesiastes 3:1-11, part 1)

YOLO: A Meditation on Ecclesiastes 2:1-11 (part 2)

Contrast the void of hedonism with the headiness of accomplishment.  Qohelet gives accomplishment three times the attention as hedonism.  “I undertook great projects…” he says, and then catalogs what he has done: building, planting, accumulating, creating culture.   Qohelet proficiently executes the cultural mandate of Genesis 1: 28 “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and … Continue reading YOLO: A Meditation on Ecclesiastes 2:1-11 (part 2)

YOLO: A Meditation on Ecclesiastes 2:1-9 (Part 1, v 1-3)

YOLO. It stands for “You Only Live Once.” It was a motto for the millennial and younger generations, though now it has become passé through overuse.  If you’re over 40 and have not heard YOLO, think “carpe diem” – seize the day. YOLO had its brief moment in the sun in late 2011 and early … Continue reading YOLO: A Meditation on Ecclesiastes 2:1-9 (Part 1, v 1-3)

For Tonight, It’s The Meaning Of Life (A Meditation on Ecclesiastes 1:3-18)

19th century writer Henry David Thoreau moved to the woods around Walden pond so he could experience a life of simplicity.  He felt weary of the routine, unexamined life of the shopkeeping townspeople.  “The mass of men,” he wrote, “lead lives of quiet desperation.”  Thoreau intended to confront life, rather than fill his hours with … Continue reading For Tonight, It’s The Meaning Of Life (A Meditation on Ecclesiastes 1:3-18)

The Book of Smoke (Meditation on Ecclesiastes 1:1-2)

Sfumato.  It is a technical term from art history that describes a “smoky” look, a look without harsh dividing lines.  Leonardo DaVinci was a master of sfumato.  He accomplished the effect quite masterfully in the Mona Lisa.  DaVinci used tiny brush strokes to blend colors, then he applied thin layers of varnish, up to 40 … Continue reading The Book of Smoke (Meditation on Ecclesiastes 1:1-2)