Well, the kids are all off to school today. It was a little hairy, as Eldest started her freshmen year the the High School. A little scary for me too. She was embarrassed by my car. Admittedly, it is something of a beater these days.
Even the littlest starts school this afternoon, doing half day Pre-K. He is very excited. Last night he had to sign the internet use agreement, and he continually switched between his right and left hands.
Things are kicking up at church, too. Choirs start next week. Midweek on September 15. I’m planning another adult instruction class this Fall.
It is good that the routine begins again. Good for the kids to be in school and busier and learning. It’s bad how time flies. Wise Solomon agrees:
Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity. What does man gain by all the toil at which he toils under the sun? A generation goes, and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever. The sun rises, and the sun goes down, and hastens to the place where it rises. The wind blows to the south and goes around to the north; around and around goes the wind, and on its circuits the wind returns. All streams run to the sea, but the sea is not full; to the place where the streams flow, there they flow again. All things are full of weariness; a man cannot utter it; the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing. What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun. Is there a thing of which it is said, “See, this is new”? It has been already in the ages before us. (Ecclesiastes 1:2-10 ESV)
Our American sensibilities chafe at such thoughts. “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” and all. I suppose if we were Danish, all would be well.
But acknowledging tempus fugit, and “all men are grass” and the earthy grave is absolutely necessary for us in order to be Christians. For without the vanity, vanity of this life and certainty of a box in the ground, our Lord would have no recompense for us. He, too, would be meaningless.
Of course, for our unorthodox American Protestantism, He is. The Jesus of Evangelical Pop-Christianity has little to do besides making life no fun, or making the evangelists rich or something. He is a moral Jesus, who forgives the sins that we easily ignore and the rest do not consider sins at all. He is useless to the masses, for they are not bound by guilt, but rejoice in their crapulence*, and death and time and telos are taboo and “too depressing.”
We need our grim reaper standing over us, the human skulls in our hands, the pallor of death, the music of Pink Floyd and our Tom Waits with his stygian voice, the call of Solomon, even the Goths to remind us that no one gets out of here alive.
When we know this, then we are ready to hear about Resurrection.
*1. Sickness caused by excessive eating or drinking; 2. Excessive indulgence; intemperance.from Late Latin crapulentus, very drunk, from Latin crapula, intoxication, from Greek kraipal.