Monday, February 19, 2018

The Meaning of Life

And the Lord God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil.  He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.”  So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken.
–Gen 3:22-23

This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses.  Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him.  For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
–Deut 30:19-20

A Russian writer Leo Tolstoy (1828–1910) wrote, “The sole meaning of life is to serve humanity.”  But Max Lucado (b. 1955), a Christian author and preacher was sure: “The meaning of life.  The wasted years of life.  The poor choices of life.  God answers the mess of life with one word: ‘grace.’”  Jesus says in John 11:25-26: “I am the resurrection and the life.  The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.  Do you believe this?”

Our True Destiny

Thomas Merton (1915–1968), a Catholic theologian and mystic said, “Love is our true destiny.  We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone – we find it with another.”  Reid Hoffman (b. 1967), an internet entrepreneur agreed with Merton and explained his role in life: “What makes the meaning of life is people, so you try to be good to people immediately around you and in your broader community.  So a lot of my projects are about how I can affect the world in the hundreds of millions.”  To be lights to the world however, we have to heed Christ’s teaching in John 8:12: “I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Morality & Meaning

Paul Kurtz (1925–2012), a secular humanist believed, “The meaning of life is not to be discovered only after death in some hidden, mysterious realm; on the contrary, it can be found by eating the succulent fruit of the Tree of Life and by living in the here and now as fully and creatively as we can.”  Nevertheless, what makes us precious in God’s eyes?  A Canadian-born American cognitive scientist wrote, “Morality is not just any old topic in psychology but close to our conception of the meaning of life.  Moral goodness is what gives each of us the sense that we are worthy human beings.”  These beliefs might well be based on the recognition of John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

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