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Vanity!

Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher; “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.” (Ecclesiastes 1:2, NKJV)

527 years ago, on February 7, 1497, a Dominican priest in Florence, Italy preached his listeners into a frenzy. Sharing a message of holiness, the crowds brought anything and everything they thought might tempt them to sin: playing cards, books, paintings, fine clothes, cosmetics, even mirrors. They were thrown into a pile at the priest’s feet and burned in what became (in)famously known as the Bonfire of the Vanities.

King Solomon, in the Book of Ecclesiastes, felt much the same: “Vanity! Vanity! All is vanity.”

But he’s not talking about how we look in the mirror or the clothes we wear. The Hebrew word means something more like emptiness, futility, or meaninglessness. His cry is that everything is empty. Everything is futile. Nothing in this world has meaning.

Not a very positive way to start a book of the Bible, I realize. But it does get our attention… because it resonates with us, doesn’t it? We’ve all asked the questions, “What’s the meaning of life? Why am I here?”

In the weeks to come, we’ll be studying the book of Ecclesiastes. I love this book – it’s a filled with dark humor, irony, sarcasm, but most importantly divine truth…and it’s never been more relevant than it is now.

We humans are on a search. We’re looking for meaning, happiness, and satisfaction in life. Where can we find contentment and joy? The Search, our walk through the book of Ecclesiastes, asks these same questions and ultimately provides the answer. We discover joy, contentment, and meaning are gifts from a loving heavenly Father and can only be found in Him.

Please join us Sunday. See you there!

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