What’s on your list?
Your grades, your place on the team, how popular you are, what kind of car you drive, how many followers you have on Instagram?
You know that list — the one filled with the things we use to describe ourselves, to make us stand out, to remind us we are someone.
Except God isn’t really interested in all that. God is interested in who we are without all that stuff.
God, who favors the lowly over kings. God, who says the last shall be first and the first shall be last. God, who is recognized not by a crown, but by wounded hands and feet.
God, who wants us to add to our lists (and lives) words like love, forgiveness, grace, and honesty.
So, what’s on your list?
Let’s see what God may want to add…
Perfectly pointless, says the Teacher, perfectly pointless. Everything is pointless.
When I observed all that happens under the sun, I realized that everything is pointless, a chasing after wind.
Ecclesiastes 1:2, 14
Is it all pointless?
That test you for which studied so hard and got the grade you needed, the work you did to make the team, the extra-curricular activities you do… is the writer of Ecclesiastes saying it doesn’t mean anything?
In a way, yes.
The writer is reminding us our worth is not what is outside of us — our accomplishments, the clubs we do and don’t belong to, and our lists of accolades.
Those things have a place in our lives. Our accomplishments and our failures shape us and teach us. But they are not the most important aspects of our relationship with God.
God does not love us because we have a packed resume. God does not love our labels, our awards, our titles, or our report cards. God loves us, who we are when we are stripped of all those things.
Trying to earn God’s love is pointless, as fleeting as the wind. Accepting we are loved, deeply and powerfully by God, and responding to that love? That is eternal.
Holy God, who sees my innermost thoughts, help me to think and do those things which are right, giving my time and energy to those things that matter in your eyes and seeking not those things that bring me false confidence, in the name of your son Jesus Christ. Amen.
The night before Jesus is handed over to his crucifixion and death, he gathers with his friends to share bread and wine. And he reminds them to love.
“I give you a new commandment, that you love one another,” Jesus tells them and us.
Love invites us to seek what matters – our relationship with God – and reminds us we encounter God in all those we meet.
Jesus knew that love isn’t always an easy choice. He lived it. And he believes in us enough to ask us, “Will you love one another?”
And if you will, how will you live that love each moment, day, and choice in your life?