Reformation Lutheran Church A Congregation of the ELCA

Monday, February 22 Read Ecclesiastes 9:1-11

Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to the skillful; but time and chance happen to them all. For no one can anticipate the time of disaster. Like fish in a cruel net and like birds caught in a snare, so mortals are snared at a time of calamity, when it suddenly falls upon them. Ecclesiastes 9:11

Time and Chance

We all live under the sun. All earthly things happen under the sun.

I was at the post office the morning that I heard about a plane crashing into a twin tower in New York City. I went home, turned on the television and watched live as the second plane crashed into the other tower. Then I watched while they both collapsed, killing almost 3,000 people.

Chance happens! We all live in a stream of currents often not of our choosing. Things we are not in charge of happen. One conclusion is that we are continually thwarted in life’s struggle. This sounds hopeless.

True, the fastest runner can be knocked down at the beginning of a race by a slower runner, or can pull a muscle and lose the race. No matter how swift, strong, wise, intelligent or skillful we are, other factors can intervene.

In Ecclesiastes, we are hearing 3,000-year-old wisdom by the preacher of that day. The preacher’s conclusion to the tragic human predicament is that all we can do is “Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13)

The source of hope for the human race came 1,000 years later when God sent his Son into the word to bring change – an impulse of love that gives hope to all. In the midst of all events under the sun, our hope is in Christ.

Paul Reimers
Retired pastor

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