This poem for 2 voices was written a for a 2013 sermon series on Ecclesiastes, with the video shown in a worship service. Voice 1 speaks from the point of view of Ecclesiastes, while Voice 2 adds a New Testament perspective. 

Meaningless, Meaningless, 
Wickedness, Wickedness. 
We run, we chase, we search, we seek. 
But why? Why try? The outlook’s bleak. 

Judgment, justice—both give way 
to wickedness that rules the day. 
Endless cycles keep repeating. 
Lives and days and works are fleeting. [Ecclesiastes 1:1-11]

Nothing that we do adds more. 
What’s the purpose? What’s it for? 
“What has been will be again, 
    what has been done will be done again; 
    there is nothing new under the sun.” [Ecclesiastes 1:9

Do you not know? Have you not heard?
God sent His Son, the living Word,
that we might live through Him and find 
there’s more than just an endless grind. 
[Isaiah 40:21John 1:1; 1 Peter 1:23]

Eternity is in our hearts. 
There’s purpose in our stops and starts.
And something new through the Son! 
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” 
[2 Corinthians 5:17]

Dogs and horses, man and beast— 
we’re all the same from first to least. 
For all of us share common breath 
and all of us face certain death.
[Ecclesiastes 3:18-20]

Death and hardship can’t diminish,
God formed people in His image.
Though it’s tarnished by our sin, 
still it lingers deep within. 
[Genesis 1:27]

He breathed in us, set us apart 
to do His work planned from the start— 
crowned with honor, crowned with glory, 
part of His redemptive story. 

It’s no meaningless reward 
to be called children of the Lord.
[John 1:12; Romans 8:17]

Even so, we die. We must. 
Each one of us returns to dust. 

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die…” [Ecclesiastes 3:1-2a]
“All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return.” [Ecclesiastes 3:20]

I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man.” Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out—those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned.” [John 5:25-29

We know that dust is not the end.
There’s justice and we live again. 

Who can fathom what God’s done 
or what He plans? Not anyone. [Ecclesiastes 3:11]

Why injustice? Why such sorrow? 
None of us can know tomorrow. [Ecclesiastes 8:7]

We don’t have to know the whys. 
He counts our tears and hears our sighs. [Psalm 56:8]

We worship Him when we obey, 
just trusting that He knows the way. 

All we toil for, all we build— 
whether by default or willed, 
gets passed to someone else’s hand 
and blows away like so much sand. 

Why work for what we cannot keep 
or sow what we can never reap?
[Ecclesiastes 6:1-6]

…in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” [1 Corinthians 15:58

…in his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you…” [1 Peter 1:3b-4]

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.” [Matthew 6:19-20]

What are all these treasures worth?
Much more than all the ones on earth. 

For earthly treasure never lasts. 
But what’s from God will never pass. 

Seasons come and seasons go, 
as part of time’s unending flow.
[Ecclesiastes 3:1]

Embrace each moment ‘til it’s done, 
and thank the Lord for every one. 

“I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it.” [Ecclesiastes 3:12-14]

Thanks to God for all His gifts 
and all the ways He loves and lifts 
us up to carry out His plan. 
Make no mistake; He’s chosen man 
to help with work that lasts beyond 
our earthly lives and carries on.
[John 15:16; 1 Peter 2:9]

We cannot always see the reason 
in each passing time or season, 
for the things that He allows. 
We wish we could see justice now. 

But He will judge and He is just, 
and if we put our hope and trust
in Christ, we will be given life 
and purpose reaching past our strife. 

Chase Him, seek Him, keep on leaning 
on the God who gives us meaning. 
Find Him, serve Him now, today. 
Eternity is underway. 

About the Author

Alison Dellenbaugh (M.A. in Christian Leadership, Dallas Theological Seminary) is the Spiritual Formation Resource Manager at Central Bible Church and editor of the Next Step Disciple website.