A sermon by Dr Donald T. Williams - donaldtwilliams.com
Presented at Trinity Fellowhip on 11/21/99
Dr. Ken Morefield preached on Ecclesiates 2:1-11, wherein Solomon exposes hedonism as a futile attempt to fill the emptiness that can only be filled by God. 'Twas a good assault on the unexamined life. How, he asked, can one know that pleasure will ease one's emptiness, unless one has first analyzed what it is that is missing? Christians become closet hedonists, not by pursuing earthly pleasures, which are indeed to be received with thanksgiving, but by making lists of those that are "worldly" vs. those that are "OK," and then pursuing only the approved ones. But even innocent things become a stumbling block if we are subtly placing our happiness there rather than in the Father. If we make our happiness dependent on any external thing, we might as well hang out a "vacant" sign on our soul [nice metaphor, that--DW]. This tendency should be combatted through spiritual disciplines such as fasting and silence. The Lord's Supper is also, when rightly received, an antidote to the subtle secularity and materialism implied by hedonism, for in the Bread and Wine we see past the physical sensation to the spiritual Reality; there the physical and the spiritual intersect.