Pastoral Musings from Rain City

it's about 'what is church?' it's about whether 'emergent' is the latest Christian trend or something more substantial. it's musing on what it means to live the city, in America, in community, intergenerationally, at this time in history...

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Useless Beauty - An Aid for Ecclesiastes

If you're studying Ecclesiastes, and want to see how the text illustrates an interfaces with contemporary film, I'd recommend the book Useless Beauty. Several of these movies might find their way into this sermon series, but even if you don't have time to watch them, you'll find good synopsis in these chapters, as well as interplay between story and text.

Ecclesiastes, digested properly, leads to a most hopeful life - hopeful because it is rooted in a reality that refuses to lapse into either despondency or naive optimism. As I shared in the sermon, both options are the worst possible. The third way is a way that lives fully, every day, enjoying the gifts, and facing the losses - all the while holding on to the Source of life.

Carpe Diem...



At 30/3/08 22:12, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just wanted to say thank you for your sermon today. We visited Bethany for the first time today, and were very touched by your words on Ecclesiastes. I've been struggling recently with bouncing into the cynical despondency that you touched on- it's tough to fight when things don't fit the formulaic input/output that would be so much easier ;) Anyway, I expect we'll be back in a few weeks, after we visit a few other churches (we're in the middle of that really fun church searching process :P), but I just wanted to say thanks- your thoughts on Ecclesiastes were ... refreshing. :)

At 30/3/08 22:32, Blogger PJ said...

Very true! Living life to the fullest is one of the things that I struggle with everyday.

At 31/3/08 19:46, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too was a visitor to Bethany on Sunday. I, however, left feeling as if maybe I had missed the punchline. Maybe it is that I have been a Christian for a long time and my hope has been eroded over time and I have become jaded at the prospect. I know no formula will work (been there, done that).

It was refreshing to hear a pastor being honest about the world we live in and not trying to sugar-coat it in "Christianese". It felt real.

At 1/4/08 12:15, Blogger bunabear said...

After reading the blogpost, I was looking forward to hearing this sermon. The podcast finally came through. I was blessed by the sermon. The themes resonate with me and my family. Thank you!


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