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Speaker: Pastor Tristan Sherwin

'This piece of writing is a journal of the human cry for meaning.

Most of the book's length is spent on Qohelet looking in all directions, groping for meaning, reaching dead ends, proposing solutions, and coming up empty as he contemplates the circular and repetitive nature of human existence, its brevity, and the absurd amount of effort it requires, particularly given death's certainty.

But Qohelet is no atheist. His questions are the questions of a believer with an honest faith. I’ve said it before and I will say it again: Faith is not the absence of questions.

Qohelet believes in the existence and sovereignty God, on one hand (of course, we have to ask what he understands of God as we go through it). But, in the other hand, he’s not blind to the injustice and unfairness in the world, and the fragility and limitations of human life. His knowledge of God and his experience of life are difficult to hold together.

He’s not unique in having this difficulty, by the way. The Psalms also express the tension between God and experience, and our need to make sense out of that tension.

As the American pastor and author, Erwin McManus, ‘We are all on a journey to make sense out of life, and when it doesn’t make sense, it’s maddening to our souls’

For Qohelet his searching leads him to this maddening conclusion: ‘Everything is meaningless, utterly meaningless.’ (Ecc. 1:2)'

Tristan shares his sermon notes on his own blog. You can read the full sermon here: VAPOUR | INTRODUCTION (Ecc. 1:1-11)

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