Life Worth Living

What is the meaning of life? We have probably all asked that question, or one like it, at one time or another. But do we know the answer? Some people drift through life in search of meaning and purpose, other people devote themselves to the pursuit of things in an attempt to fill their emptiness. Recently I read a devotion in “A New Life,” a booklet of 10 Easter devotions from Our Daily Bread that really spoke to me. It was too long to repeat here, but it was titled “Shopping for Life at the Mega Mall” and reflected on how church attendance is being replaced by Sunday shopping. We don’t have a Mega Mall nearby, but with the internet we don’t need to leave our homes to worship at the altar of consumerism. A recent advertisement for the “Wish” app seemed to underscore this message; the voice touts all the new things she has purchased on her phone, so much that now she needs another closet. The inference is that the app, and how much she saved by spending has added joy and meaning to her life. The ad did not say that “Jesus Saves” can be replaced by “The Wish App Saves” but I guess, fresh from my reflection on the devotion in Our Daily Bread, that was what I heard. More than 2,000 years ago God spoke to the people of Israel through the prophet Isaiah, “Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? …. Seek the LORD while he may be found, call upon him while he is near….” (Isaiah 55:2, 6 NRSV) Paul addressed his search for life and meaning saying very boldly to the Philippians, as he spoke to them about his possible execution, “For to me, living is Christ and dying is gain.” (Philippians 1:21 NRSV) It is hard for me to develop this theme in a short space, (the devotion that I refer to is 6 pages long) but I would suggest that this is a very appropriate Lenten theme. Let us consider our search for meaning in life as we prepare for our celebration of Easter. Let us remember that the resurrection casts the question of life in a whole new light and reveals that this is not a question for today, or tomorrow, but for eternity. “Jesus Saves” cannot be replaced by a shopping app or the perfect pair of shoes. The meaning of life may not be found in the pursuit of things, adventure, or pleasure, because none of these last beyond the moment. Isaiah had it right when he asked that timeless question, and called us to seek the LORD while he may be found. The good news is that the LORD may be found today. Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life….” (John 14:6 NRSV) We don’t need a new app or any technology. Meaning in life, abundant life, is found in a living relationship with the one who offers eternal life. Thanks be to God.