Many people claim to believe in God. Indeed all Christians do. But for many, God is removed or transcendent or far above in heaven to be fully involved in their affairs. To believe in God is one thing, and to daily live with the consciousness of that belief is another thing. In practice, many are not conscious of the presence of God in their daily lives and activities. This can be seen in what they do or fail to do. When a person continues to indulge in things that God detests and judges, or when he fails to commune with God or appreciate him or really acknowledge the presence of God in his life, the person can be said to have forgotten God. Forgetting or not remembering God is of disastrous consequences. The call or thrust of today’s meditation is for such people to remember God.
Reflections on the Bible Readings for Day – Eccl. 11&12; Lk 12:1-21 (Mattins)
The OT passage is the conclusion of the book of Ecclesiastes. The author of the book, designated the Preacher, considered life as he had experienced and observed it between the horizons of birth and death. He critically reflected on human life, noting his limits and lots. He took a hard look at human wisdom and enterprise and found their limitations and futility glaring. Experience and wisdom had taught the Preacher that man could not make it on his own. Nothing whatsoever, no matter how appealing, is worth it except with God. He thus posited that the only way to live meaningfully, purposefully and joyfully was by primarily placing God at the centre of one’s life, work and activities; reverently trusting and obeying him who is the Creator. Hence, what started with the very familiar “Vanity of vanities; all is vanity” (1:2) ended with “Remember your Creator” (12:1) and “Fear God and keep his commandments” (12:13).
The OT passage enjoins man to remember God, specifically by:
- Walking with God and acting in or living by faith instead of sight in life endeavours (11:1-6).
- Enjoying life with sense of responsibility being conscious of God’s omnipresence and omniscience, for he will judge man for everything (11:7-end; 12: 14).
- Serving God at the prime before it becomes late or hindered by age, health failure and death (12:1-8).
- Reverently trusting God and keeping the commandments of he who is the ultimate Judge (12:9-end).
The NT Reading consists in two parts.
The first part contains our Lord Jesus’ teaching/hint on how to remember God. We need to be conscious of his presence all the time. Nothing can be hidden from him including all that we say or do in secret. He is the one to be feared. Living fake/false lives depicts either ignorance of God knowing everything or not remembering that God is always there watching.
The second part is the Lord’s parable of a man who became wealthy and became engrossed in himself on how to enjoy his new found wealth that he did not remember God who is the source of both his wealth and the life he wanted to enjoy. So God took his life thereby denying him the opportunity of enjoying the wealth he set his heart to do. This man has come to be known as the “Rich Fool” and the Lord warned us not to be like him. We should remember God.
The Venerable Dr Princewill Onyinyechukwu Ireoba, FIMC, CMC.
Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Centre,
Agbarha-Otor, Delta State.