Weekly Pastoral Message prepared by Rev. Murray Adamthwaite
for Sunday 3rd May 1998
From the Pastor: The Resurrection IV
"Therefore, my beloved bretheren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labour is not in vain in the Lord." I Corinthians 15:58|
Often when we reflect on the normal course of life it seems like a
monotonous treadmill: you rise at 6:30, have breakfast, go to work at
8:15, spend your day at the office or on the factory floor; then home
on the 5:45, eat, sleep, and next day it starts all over again. The
endless round affects us all, and we may wonder if at the end of it all
we will contribute anything, or whether we are ultimately an irrelevance.
Does life have any meaning or purpose?
The Preacher in the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes notices this
problem at the very outset: "what has been is what will be; what is done
is what will be done ... all is vanity", Ecclesiastes 1:9,14. What
reinforces this vanity of life and work is the supreme fact of death:
"just exactly as he came, so he shall go. And what profit has he who
laboured for the wind?", Ecclesiastes 5:16. People come and people go,
and endeavour seems futile.
Without Christ and His resurrection the doleful conclusions of the
Preacher/philosopher follow absolutely. There is no avoiding them.
If death ends all I have no lasting place in this world; I cannot even
be sure that I will be making a contribution to its welfare. But now
Christ is risen from the dead; there is a guaranteed hope, while life
and work here do have a meaning. This is Paul's triumphant climax to
his dicussion of the resurrection: "your work is not in vain", and it
is easy to see why. But this holds only if labour is "in the Lord", if
one is a Christian. Outside that sphere the Preacher's sweeping conclusion
applies: "Vanity of vanities, all is vanity". Is your life and work one
of vanity, or of productivity in the Lord Jesus?
Only what's done for Christ will last."