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Faith column: Don’t have a meaningless Christmas and a hevel New Year

The antidote you need comes from the Bible’s most morbid book: Ecclesiastes. This is the short Old Testament book that concludes that all human emotion, activity and ambition results in hevel, an awesome Hebrew word that means fog, mist, vanity and meaninglessness.

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Chad Werkhoven
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WORTHINGTON — The fourth week of November is cherished by most. Family members travel thousands of miles to come together in celebration of our country’s most hallowed holiday. A nation marked every other day of the year by deep division finds unity for one day only as they gather under banners promising 50%, 60%, even 75% off of everyday low prices.

Black Friday champions the three primary tenets of the American philosophy for achieving happiness: GET. MORE. STUFF.

The moment our brief interlude of gratitude closes in the waning moments of Thanksgiving’s final football game, Black Friday introduces a month-long crescendo of consumerism that will unceremoniously end by dumping you into debt and depression the day after Christmas.

The antidote you need comes from the Bible’s most morbid book: Ecclesiastes. This is the short Old Testament book that concludes that all human emotion, activity and ambition results in hevel, an awesome Hebrew word that means fog, mist, vanity and meaninglessness.

Hevel is that feeling you get after you’ve opened the best present ever, but yet you still want more.

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Ecclesiastes correctly claims that nothing under the sun will result in any lasting satisfaction. It seems like a really depressing book to dive into as we approach Christmas, but that’s exactly what we’re going to do at our church.

Ecclesiastes only seems depressing for those whose lives are stuck under the sun. But Christmas points us to life above the sun. It relates the good news that the son of God became man, took on our sin and paid for it with his life. Having conquered sin and death, Christ sat down at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms, along with those who’ve placed their trust in him.

Because Christmas has changed our perspective from under the sun to above it, life has meaning — not just in eternity when all will be made new — but here and now.

During our Advent services, Ecclesiastes is going to show us that we can live in hope, have lasting peace, experience authentic joy and share true love all because of the gift God gave us on Christmas morning.

Don’t have another meaningless Christmas and a hevel New Year. Break the cycle. Join us as we find meaning in a meaningless world in the book of Ecclesiastes, or any of the other awesome churches in Worthington who preach salvation by grace alone, through faith alone and because of Christ alone.

Rev. Chad Werkhoven pastors Worthington Christian Reformed Church. Find them at wgtncrc.org.

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