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“THROUGH SMOKE: The Surprising, Cynical Wisdom of Ecclesiastes”

“Before the truth will come to fill our eyes; 

the wool comes down in the form of fire;

And when the answers and the truth have cut their ties…

When the answers and the truth take different sides;

Will you still find me, will you still see me,

Through smoke?”

 

– Through Smoke, William and Nathaniel Rinehart

Throughout the history of the church, the book of Ecclesiastes has proven both a formidable challenge and surprising encouragement to the people of God.

On the one hand, the exasperated cynicism of “The Preacher” seems to run contrary to the simple, straightforward wisdom of “Lady Wisdom” in other wisdom literature. At the same time, anyone who has ever seen the patterns and principles of Proverbs unravel find faith-forming solidarity in this book’s honest wrestlings.

“Vanity of vanities! All is vanity.” So goes the familiar bookend and refrain of Ecclesiastes. But this Hebrew word “hevel” literally means vapor or smoke.

So its not that life is truly meaningless. The refrain of Ecclesiastes points to the hard realities of life “under the sun,” and acknowledges that the meaning isn’t always clear. Like smoke, it is fleeting. And like smoke, though it might look solid, if you try and grab it, it will slip through your fingers.

Join us this fall at Liberti Church as we take an uncomfortably honest look at the realities of life and faith. As we are led to strip away the pleasantries, cliches, and pretense, we’ll seek to have our eyes enlightened to the reality of God…through smoke.

 

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