Introducing Small Group #20 – Ecclesiastes

Ecclesiastes

As our Small Groups Sign-Up’s get started this winter, we wanted to tell you about a few of the options. Here are a few words from Mike Holmes about the small group he is hosting this winter with John Remein (Small Group #20)

When we observe our own lives and the wider world, there is a lot that doesn’t seem to make any sense. The things we think should happen in our own lives often don’t. Hours or years of preparation for activities can appear fruitless. Chance and time may seem to overcome wisdom, discernment, strength, or skill. Even if our desires see fulfillment, discontentment may still plague us.

If we glance out to the wider world, we often see the wicked thriving unhindered, foolishness preferred over wisdom, and injustice reigning over justice. This could range anywhere from a despot oppressing the population of a country to a dishonest person climbing the ladder of career success. It’s not hard to look at our own lives and the world and come to a conclusion that life is hebel.

HebelHebel is the Hebrew term the Preacher in Ecclesiastes uses to describe the nature everything. While literally meaning vapor or smoke, it’s used over 30 times in the book of Ecclesiastes to describe life and its many facets as enigmatic, meaningless, vain, or fleeting. Whether we read these words in scripture as a breath of fresh air or with confusion, we still may wonder what we should do with them.

Ecclesiastes touches pretty much every area of life: work, time, relationship, pleasure, wisdom, politics, death, and purpose. This can give the book a feel of immediate relevance, but a closer look also reveals that it can be one of the most challenging and perplexing books to interpret and apply.

What do we do with all the talk of Hebel? How do we read Ecclesiastes alongside other books of wisdom, like the book of Proverbs? What do we do with the seemingly random encouragements to seize the day and enjoy life? How does sin factor in? How does the conclusion to fear God and keep his commandments fit in with the rest of the book?

Finally, how should we as Christians read this and apply it? These are many of the questions we want to explore in this trimester’s small group study of Ecclesiastes.

The group is open to men and women and will be led by Mike Holmes and John Remein. Hope to see you on Thursday nights at 7:30 PM!

Interested in joining this small group? Here is the link to sign up.