Monday, 4th Week after Pentecost

Text: Ecclesiastes 7:1-14

Prayer Pointers:

For growth in spiritual maturity

To cherish our elders

For those who manage funds

THIS PASSAGE from Ecclesiastes is as “counter-cultural” as one can get in our world. We are obsessed with youth and the habits of youthfulness; Qoholeth is clear that it is maturity and the wisdom that comes from growing up that is valuable. “Don’t be nostalgic! Don’t look to the past and groan! Don’t pine for the ‘good old days,’ but be glad that you are an adult— that is, if you have gained wisdom and not become a fool.”

Qoholeth’s stern advice comes from an even more bracing, counter-cultural source: what if the point of living is to learn how to die? Qoholeth’s reasoning falls with a thud in a world that believes that not only do the mature have nothing to contribute and have even “failed,” but are an unwelcome reminder that death is our common end.

We Christians have no excuse: we know that the path we walk is the path of our Lord Jesus, who did not turn his face from the shadow, but entered in full-willing, as the letter to Hebrews declares: let’s keep running to the finish line! Fix your eyes on Jesus, who started this race and finished it—he ran for the joy that was waiting for him, and endured the cross, paying no attention to its shame, and now he sits at God’s right hand (Heb 12:1-2).

When we look to the past, let it be for the instruction and wisdom those who have gone before us have to share. Let us be grateful for their feet upon the dusty path that we are now walking—yes, because in some places their feet went astray, and we should not follow their footprints and participate in their folly. Let’s not be nostalgic! But even their failures in adversity are held by God for our good. So let’s keep walking.

May your day be grace-filled ~ Pr. Dave Brooks


Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church

824 N. Buchanan Blvd. 

Durham, NC 27701

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824 North Buchanan Blvd, Durham, NC 27701 | 919-682-6030  |

Mission Statement: We are called to Welcome Everyone to Walk the Way of GRACE, and walk in that way in our individual lives, in our shared life in our various communities, in our common life with our neighbors, and even to the world at large as God sends us. The Way of Grace is to: GROW with Jesus, REJOICE in God, ANSWER with hope, CARE for the neighbor, and EMBRACE community.

Vision Statement: God has a plan FOR OUR LIVES, and so we teach how to walk in the path of Jesus Christ; FOR OUR NEIGHBORHOODS, and so we work to build healthy and strong communities; FOR OUR CITY, and so we share life with our neighbors in Walltown, Trinity Park, Duke, and the Triangle; and FOR OUR WORLD, and so we go with Good News.

Core Values: Because God loves us first, we value worship rooted in Scripture and Sacraments, service to all people, and being a welcoming community that loves and forgives one another.