Monday, June 07, 2010

Meaning in the mayhem?

For our first foray of the summer into the Old Testament, we doing a short series on Ecclesiastes, five Sundays beginning the week after next. The idea is to tackle some issues that people talk about around the water cooler and at BBQs, when they're not talking about the world cup; things like 'why do I work so many hours?' 'where does all the time go?' 'Why aren't we having any fun?' 'Why's the government so incompetent?' Why's family life so demanding?' You know the kind of thing...

So, in preparation for this I have been been dusting off commentaries and looking for angles. Of all the things I've read, Greame Goldsworthy's Gospel & Wisdom is still the best. This book, which covers more than Ecclesiastes, helped me form my view of the wisdom material while I was at college. A close second is Robert Davidson's The Courage to Doubt. Eugene Peterson also has good thoughts in Five Smooth Stones for Pastoral Work. Of the commentaries, Murphy and Longman are exhaustive and Kidner is full of insight. Finally, Robert K Johnston's Useless Beauty: Ecclesiastes through the lens of contemporary film is a feast of good things.

All I've got to do now is create a series, brief my preaching team, tell the church what we're doing so they can invite friends along and launch it. Happy days!

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