But What Is the Meaning of Life

By: Pastor Shuffel Peter Hepburn Sr./JESHURUN Ministry

According to a study by the Harvard Divinity School a 2017 FBI report States that hate crimes on the basis of a religious identity increased by 23% in the US. This is the biggest increase since 9/11. In particular, hate crime against Jewish people increased by 37% over the year before.

Watch The Sermon:

Read The Sermon:

Text: Ecclesiastes

Do You Know The Purpose Of Your Life?…….. Hello And Welcome……..The Answer To This Question Is Found In The Story……..The Scene Of The Story Is Set In A Quaint Industrial Town That Was Next Door To A Bustling Copped Mine, That Provided Work Ffor The People Living There. The Prosperous Town Had Wide Roads And Very Nice Homes. But, Many Of The People Were Not So Nice. Some Were Arrogant And Self Serving. “All The Labour Of Man Is For His Mouth, And Yet The Soul Is Not Satisfied, Ecclesiastes (6:7).”

The Story Is About A Little Old Man In That Town Only Known By The Name Of, “Mr. Meaning.” In Those Days No One Knew His Real Name, Neither Was It Known Where He Came From, Or Where He Went At The End Of The Day. School Children Had Given Him The Nick Name, And It Stuck. So Everyone Called Him, “Mr. Meaning.” He Stood On A Street Corner In The Center Of Town, Where The Towns Only Traffic Light Was Located. For More Than 10 Years He Was There For Several Hours Almost Every Week Day, He Hardly Ever Came On Saturdays, And Never On Sundays. He Carried A Placard Everyday That Asked The Same Question, “What Is The Meaning Of Life?” The Corner Where He Stood Was Perhaps The Towns Busiest Spot. To His Right Was The Town’s Only Hospital, And Over On The Left, An All Age School. Across The Road To The Left Was A Bar, Drug Store And Food Mart. Straight Ahead To His Right Was A Narrow Winding Road That Led To The Town’s Only Church With A High Steeple And, A Huge Bell. The Road To The Church Was So Narrow That Only One Vehicle Could Drive On It Comfortably. One Vehicle Would Have To Pull To The Side And Allow The Other To Pass. This Often Caused Problems Because, Invariably No One Wanted To Pull To The Side In Their Nice Car. Behind The Church Was A Beautiful Graveyard With All Types Of Flowers ………and Large Milky White Tombstones. The Bell Was Rung Four Times Everyday. It Rang At 6 In The Morning, Again At Noon Time, Then Again At 6 In The Evening, And Finally At Midnight. The Bell Also Rang When Someone Died At Night Or When A New Baby Was Born. When A Babe Was Born The Peals Of The Bell Were Quick And Lively, However When Someone Died The Tolls Were Very Slow And, The Bell Rang Much Longer Than Any Other Time. Sometimes It Seemed As If The Somber Slow Ring Would Never Stop. “To Everything There Is A Season, A Time For Every Purpose Under Heaven (3:1).”

Rain Or Sunshine The Old Man Stood At The Corner With His Crudely, But Clearly Written Sign. When People Passed By He Would Say, “Yes, But What Is The Meaning Of Life?” No Matter What Question They Asked, He Would Always Say The Same Thing, “Yes, But What Is The Meaning Of Life?” He Never Said Good Morning Or Good Afternoon, Only, “Yes, But What Is The Meaning Of Life?” Everyone Thought He Was Cuckoo. Even As Cars Stopped At The Light He Would Go Over, And Ask The Drivers The Same Question. Many Who Lived In The Town Would Suck Their Teeth And Roll Up Their Windows, Saying ‘oh, Oh, Here Comes The Cazy Old Mr. Meaning Again!’ Some Would Curse At Him. “A Poor Yet Wise Youth Is Better Than An Old And Foolish King Who No Longer Knows How To Receive Instruction And Counsel (Amp.4:13).”

There Were Loud Speakers On The Church Exterior Walls, And At Various Times Throughout The Day A Quotation From The Book Of Ecclesiastes Could Be Heard Even As Far As The Traffic Light. “Remember Now Your Creator In The Days Of Your Youth, Before The Difficult (Or Evil) Days Come, And The Years Draw Near When You Say, ‘i Have No Pleasure In Them.” This Is The Verse That Was Played Most Often. But No One Paid Much Attention, They Were Too Busy Prospering, And Enjoying The Good Life.
Even Though Most Of The Adults Did Not Care Too Much For Mr. Meaning And His Uncomfortable Question, The Children Loved Him Dearly. They Loved Him Because His Eyes Would Always Light Up When He Saw Them. And When He Said, “Yes, But What Is The Meaning Of Life,” He Would Always Smile At Them, And Give A Little Nod & Chuckle After. They Would Then Laugh Happily, And He Would Stop Traffic If Necessary, Holding Up His Sign Like A Crosswalk Attendant To Those In The Cars, As He Made Sure The Children Crossed The Street Safely. But Jesus Said, “Let The Little Children Come To Me, And Do Not Forbid Them; For Of Such Is The Kingdom Of Heaven (Mat.19:14).”

One Morning Mr. Meaning Collapsed And Died Just Before School Started. He Fell Straight Back, And Landed On The Ground With His Old And Tattered Sign Resting On His Chest, And A Smile And A Radiant Glow Lit Up His Face As If He Was A Sleeping Angel. When The Children Saw Him Fall, They Ran Over To See What Happened To Him, And Finally The Adults Came Also. As He Fell A False Beard And Toupe’ Had Become Dislodged From His Face And Head. Someone Reached Down, And Removed Them Completely, And They All Gasped, As They Recognized That He Was The Kind Bald Headed Gardener From The Church Who Was Loved By All. The Children Began To Weep Uncontrollably, And The Adults As Well.

That Sunday The Church Was Packed To Capacity. Attendance Had Never Been Good At The Church. The People Of The Town Were Too Busy, And The Mine Operated 24/7 And, Even On Sundays And Holidays. The Pastors Sermon Title That Sunday Was, “What Is The Meaning Of Life?.” The People Leaned Forward Listening Intently As He Preached. They Learned That Mr. Meaning’s Real Name Was, Harold Brown. He Was From The Uk, And Had Worked As A Travelling Salesman. He Had Travelled All Over The World, And Was Hardly Ever Home. While He Was Away On One Trip, His Entire Family Died In Their Sleep One Night When Their House Caught Afire. His Wife And Three Children Were All Found By The Fire Fighters, Still In Their Beds. They Had All Died From Smoke Inhalation, Their Bodies Were Untouched By The Flames. Mr Meaning, Had Never Forgiven Himself For Not Being There. He Immediately Resigned His Job, And Moved Away. “Therefore I Hated Life Because The Work That Was Done Under The Sun Was Distressing To Me, For All Is Vanity And Grasping For The Wind (2:17).”
He Moved To The Town And Applied For The Job Of Church Gardener. However, The Pastor Told Him That The Church Could Not Afford A Gardener. Mr. Meaning Said The Lord Had Sent Him There, And He Would Be Willing To Work For Free. The Pastor Relented And Hired Him. Offering Him A Tiny Room At The Rear Of The Church, Telling Him He Could Live There. Mr. Meaning Transformed The Graveyard, And The Churchyard Making Them The Most Beautiful, And Peaceful Places In The Entire Town. He Was The One That Fixed The Broken Bell, And Instituted The Daily Bell Ringing. He Faithfully Rang It Everyday Himself. He Installed The Speakers And Electronic Systems, Painted And Cleaned The Church Regularly, And Sometimes Paid For The Paint Himself. He Did Any Other Job That Was Needed, Including Comforting The Mourners. The Pastor Said Mr. Meaning Was Even More Important To The Church Than He Was, And Would Be Irreplaceable. He Said At The Times When The Church Was Able To Pay Him A Salary, Mr. Meaning Would Put The Entire Amount Back Into The Church Collection. By This Time The Pastor Was Weeping, And There Was Not A Dry Eye In The Church. “Cast You Bread Upon The Waters, For You Will Find It After Many Days (11:1).”

The Pastor Wiped His Eyes And Hastened To Pull Himself Together Because The Hour Was Getting Late. He Still Needed To Answer Mr. Meaning’s Question For The Congregation. He Told Them That For The 12 Years That Harold Brown Had Been At The Church, His Life Had Taught Him That Service To God, And Service To Our Neighbor Were The Two Most Essential Things In Life. And This He Said Is Life’s Meaning. We Are Here To Serve God And Each Other. However, He Said, “The People Of This Town Have All Been About Serving Themselves.” The Pastor Went On To Say That What The Town Needed More Than Anything Else Was Love. He Said Divorce And Unfaithfulness Was Rampant In The Town, Alcoholism Was On The Increase, And There Was No One Who Cared About The Less Fortunate. He Said It Is Shameful That, In The 12 Years No One Ever Considered Mr. Meaning, And Neither Did They Consider Harold Brown, The Gardener. Only The Children Showed Him Love. That Week Things Turned Around In The Little Town. People Began Caring For Each Other. Attendance At Church Services Made An Upward Turn. The Pastor Ended His Sermon That Sunday With Ecc. 12:14 Saying, “Fear God And Keep His Commandment: For This Is The Whole Duty Of Man. For God Shall Bring Every Work Into Judgement, With Every Secret Thing, Whether It Be Good, Or Whether It Be Evil.”

Picture of Pastor Shuffel P. Hepburn Sr.

Pastor Shuffel P. Hepburn Sr.

The Senior Pastor of Jeshurun Ministry Bahamas. He has a Ph.D. in Christian Psychology and Counseling.

Leave a Reply

About Jeshurun

Jeshurun ministry is a non-denominational Evangelical, outreach ministry in Freeport, Bahamas. We believe the whole Bible to be completely and equally inspired and that it is the written Word of God. We are located at #6 International Bazaar across from The Royal Islander Hotel, 2 Doors South of the Castaways Inn and 2 Doors East of the Perfume Factory. Come worship with us this Sunday!

Recent Sermons

Follow Us

Weekly Sermon

Read More Sermons...