Wisdom at a Funeral

At a recent funeral, conducted with people who are not actively part of the church community, I decided to start with a passage from Ecclesiastes and speak of the ability to enjoy simple gifts.  This is the passage:

Eccles. 2:24-26
    There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God, [25] for apart from him who can eat or who can have enjoyment? [26] For to the one who pleases him God has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, but to the sinner he has given the business of gathering and collecting, only to give to one who pleases God. This also is vanity and a striving after wind.

   Interestingly this lead to a pleasant conversation at the graveside by a friend of the family regarding work, possessions and taking time for rest and for God.

The gifts God gives are spiritual in nature (wisdom, knowledge and joy) and the material things of life are a “Heaping up” of stuff that we can not keep.  It reminds me of the comment I once heard by a Mennonite believer who was a truck driver by trade,

“I’ve never seen a trailer on a hearse.”


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