Sharing Our Faith Together

The Vanity of Life

by Rev Greg Obong-Oshotse 9 July 2021
First published on 7/7/2020. We continue to publish new thoughts but hope you find encouragement and blessing in revisiting some we have published previously.

Reading: Ecclesiastes 1:1-18

Text: Ecclesiastes 1:2

“Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity.”

Marlon Brando (1924-2004) was an American actor and film maker. Regarded as one of the greatest cinema actors of the 20th century, he won the Oscar for best actor twice, and three Academy Award nominations. He got into the Guinness Book of Records for earning $3.7 million for 13 days’ work in 1978. In its list of the 100 Most Important People of The 20th Century, TIME magazine in 1999 named him “Actor of the Century.” On his death he left an estate valued at $21.6 million, earning another $9 million in 2005, as well as the reputation for being ‘one of the top-earning deceased celebrities in the world.’ One of his legacies is the sad admission: “I searched for, but never found, what I was looking for either on screen or off. Mine was a glamorous, turbulent life but completely unfulfilling.”

The author of Ecclesiastes had been there about 2,400 years earlier. He had a combination of immeasurable wealth and wisdom, the two qualities you need to make an Eldorado. Yet he failed because the world cannot be an Eldorado. It has no capacity to be one. It’s all emptiness. Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity. Many have tried before and since. All have failed. All will ever fail who try. Only in Christ is life enriched; it is empty without Him.

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Dear Father, help us to sit loosely to the things of this world that we may be free to know the true riches of eternal life in Christ’s name, Amen.