“Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God,”[1] advises the author of the letter to the Colossians (whom I shall call “Paul” even though there is some scholarly dispute about that). Is Paul echoing the Teacher who wrote the Book of Ecclesiastes? Is he also asserting that “all the deeds that are done under the sun [are] vanity and a chasing after wind”?[2]

And what about Luke’s Jesus? When he says that God calls the rich man a fool[3] is he condemning his wealth or his saving for the future as a waste of time?

No, not at all! None of our biblical authors this morning – not the Teacher, not Paul, not Luke (and certainly not Jesus whom Luke is quoting) – none of them is saying that life is futile or that our earthly existence is unimportant.

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