There’s an interesting article in which it’s stated that 4 out of every 10 Americans sense no purpose or meaning to life. Given the words in Ecclesiastes I am not surprised at all (see that entire book, one of my favorites if I can say that about a biblical book, unique in the wisdom genre). And that reflects my own experience. I’ve had years in the past and moments in the present when I seriously think, “What’s the point?” Of course if we settle for very little (as C. S. Lewis said) so that if we can just get a few kicks along the way, we are set and good to go, then we are settling for something far less which in the end and often (in a sense always) even on the way to the end will leave us high and dry.
Only in the gospel, the good news of God in King Jesus and God’s grace and kingdom come in him is the true meaning of life found, and no where else. In fact that even gives scripture its true meaning. Scripture as God’s written word is the story of God fulfilled in Jesus, finding its true meaning in King Jesus and God’s grace and kingdom come in him. Read all of it and don’t skip the oftentimes troubling and monotonous part on Israel which is one key to understanding the whole. God’s coming in Jesus in the his incarnation, life and teaching, death and resurrection, ascension and outpouring of the Spirit and the promise to return and “set the world to rights” and make all things new.
We enter into the kingdom by simple faith, the faith of a child, accepting God at his word. And we become disciples, learners as in apprentices in following Jesus in the fellowship of the church in mission to the world. We follow the way of Jesus but we do that together as his body the church, in word and sacrament, by the power of the Spirit being God’s witnesses to the world. The “Jesus Creed” of loving God and our neighbor being the heartbeat of all we do.
This and this alone gives life its real and true meaning and nothing else at all, as good as the other things can be. Everything good has its place, but can find its only proper place in relation to this. This is the true hope of the world and the end of the story. A fullness to which there is no end.