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Ecclesiastes 1:4-8

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Ecclesiastes 1:4-8, ‘A generation goes, a generation comes…the sun rises, and the sun goes down…around and around goes the wind…all streams run to the sea…All things are full of weariness…”

According to these first verses of Ecclesiastes, the world is full of soul-numbing weariness, and this is exemplified in the cyclical nature of the world that is always moving and yet never seems to make any real progress. Birth is followed by death, sunrise by sunset, winds from the south by winds from the north, and the waters are eventually gathered back to the place of their origin…Around and around with no seeming direction or purpose—this is the weariness of the world, the weariness inherent to mortality.

Now, is the weariness that this cyclical repetition creates in the human soul not a witness to what we might call the ‘narrative longing’ of our hearts? The desire for genuine, linear movement toward an end, a goal, a telos, an Eschaton that concludes and comforts and answers? We do not want to be trapped within a wheel, but carried along by an arrow. Yet, like rockets that cannot reach escape velocity, the lines of our hope seem ever to curve back down, gathered again into the ever turning cycle of vanity, bent back upon themselves by the gravity of mortality.

Until, that is, One among us does not succumb to the cycle…until One of our number is not folded into the wheel of our weariness, is not bent under the curvature of our curse, but instead continues forward, un-bending the bent, marching along the straight road, shattering the curved confines of mortality and opening out the linear path of a living hope, whose telos is joy and splendor and life in abundance.

This One is Jesus Christ our Lord, the Arrow of Hope who—set to the string on Calvary’s bow and loosed with power from the empty tomb—pierces the curved confines of the cyclical curse and gathers His people with Him into the linearity of His Story, imparting meaning, direction, and purposes; ordering the whirlpool of our chaos into a River of Living Water that runs in an unbroken path to the Sea of Triune Joy.