Recently, I saw The Great Gatsby with some friends. Throughout the movie my heart ached for Gatsby. He had almost everything in the world, yet was still so lost and unhappy. He had enough money to do whatever he wanted. He threw huge wild parties and spent so much money each and every weekend just for love.
The movie made it seem like the only way for Gatsby to fill his void of emptiness, loneliness, and unhappiness was if he and Daisy could finally be together forever, true love till death do us part. The movie got part of it right, that only true love can bring fulfillment, but that love can not be filled by any human.
Only by Jesus dying on the cross for our broken and sinful selfs can that love be fulfilled. His death is what allowed us to experience communion with God. That communion is the only thing that can bring us never-ending complete joy.
Gatsby’s story is not an original one, it also parallels a story from the book of the bible Ecclesiastes.
“I undertook great projects: I built houses for myself and planted vineyards. 5 I made gardens and parks and planted all kinds of fruit trees in them. 6 I made reservoirs to water groves of flourishing trees. 7 I bought male and female slaves and had other slaves who were born in my house. I also owned more herds and flocks than anyone in Jerusalem before me. 8 I amassed silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces. I acquired male and female singers, and a harem[a] as well—the delights of a man’s heart. 9 I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem before me. In all this my wisdom stayed with me.
I refused my heart no pleasure.
My heart took delight in all my labor,
and this was the reward for all my toil.
11 Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done
and what I had toiled to achieve,
everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind;
nothing was gained under the sun.” – Ecclesiastes 2:5-11
earnestly I seek you;
I thirst for you,
my whole being longs for you,
in a dry and parched land
where there is no water.
2 I have seen you in the sanctuary
and beheld your power and your glory.
3 Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you.
4 I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands.
5 I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods;
with singing lips my mouth will praise you.” – Psalm 63:1-5
- What things did you acquire that you thought would bring you happiness that still left you empty?
- Or maybe it brought happiness for a short time and then faded?
- Have you experienced the love described in Psalm 63? If not, what holds you back from experiencing this?