Most of us wrestle sooner or later with the big questions of life: where can we find meaning, purpose, security and so on? I sometimes meet people who seem to think that Christians leave their brains at the church door and are somehow immune to deep thinking! But of course it's not true.
At St John's over the next few weeks, we'll be looking at one of the most demanding of all the books in the Bible: the book of Ecclesiastes, written several centuries before Jesus. The most famous phrase in the book, repeated numerous times is "everything is meaningless", hardly a great source of hope. But the book is recognising that's what many people think, rather than promoting it as a conclusion.
For many people, the reality of life is exactly that: a feeling of meaninglessness. We often seek meaning and significance in wealth, career, pleasure, social status, and so on, but it's always elusive. Even living in the light of God's wisdom and commands offers no guarantee of a 'good life', because hardship and death are great equalisers. As Corrie Ten Boom used to say, "We don't know what the future holds, but we do know who holds the future". Having been sent to a concentration camp and watching her sister die there, her words carry weight.
Wherever you are in your search for meaning and significance, I hope you'll find it in God's love and power, which are everlasting and stronger than life and death.