Ecclesiastes 3:12-13: There is nothing better than to rejoice and to do good in one’s lifetime; moreover that every man who eats and drinks sees good in all his labor – it is the gift of God.
Vapor of vapors, says the preacher. All is vapor. Ecclesiastes reminds us that the world and everything in it pass away. Nothing stays put. All we accomplish is blown away like morning mist, and so are we.
But Ecclesiastes is finally a book of joy. Again and again in the book, Solomon calls attention to eating and drinking as the sign of joy. There is a table in the mist, this table.
When we eat, we say that the food is good. But eating and drinking also enables us to see that our labor is good, not just because it produces food to keep us alive but because work that produces bread and wine must be good in itself. We see good in our labor when we see that bread and wine are the fruition of our work.
Above all, this table is the place of joy because it is where we receive the gift of God. To find the table, to find this food, this Bread of heaven, in the mist, that is God’s gift.