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Proper 13

Ecclesiastes 1.2, 12–14; 2.18–23
Colossians 3.1–11
Luke 12.13–21

Today’s three readings just are depressing, so brace yourselves. It’s partly because the image of the virtuous life that they present is so obviously unattainable, and partly because they seem to epitomize the world-hating morality that Christianity has so often been accused of.

The author of Ecclesiastes can see no point in life. Everything we do is nullified for him by the unavoidable fact of death. Nothing is worth enjoying because it cannot be enjoyed for ever. You might as well simply concentrate on the superficial and ephemeral, since everything is ultimately superficial and ephemeral. What’s more, he assumes that this state of affairs is God’s doing (Ecclesiastes 1.13), so even the thought of God’s eternity is no consolation...

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