Transcript of audio:
"Vanity of vanities. All things are vanity!"
It's important to understand the meaning of "vanity" as written by the author of this week's Old Testament reading from Ecclesiastes. He uses the word "vanity" as a Hebrew superlative expressing, among other things, the futility and emptiness that obsessing over wealth and possessions can lead to. That lesson from nearly 3,000 years ago applies even more to our lives today.
Unfortunately, society's not paying attention. We have created a culture that says having things – a bigger house, a fancier car, the latest smart phone, and on and on – will make us happy. How often have we chased after material possessions without ever obtaining the expected happiness?
True happiness comes from being rich in what matters to God – using our possessions to show love to one another and to care for those in need.