- Third Sunday after the Epiphany – January 24, 2021
- Photo: https://g.co/arts/MrXXqjJwnQ1PxEjC8
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“The word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time, saying, “Get up, go to Nineveh, that great city, and proclaim to it the message that I tell you.” So Jonah set out and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly large city, a three days’ walk across. Jonah began to go into the city, going a day’s walk. And he cried out, “Forty days more, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” And the people of Nineveh believed God; they proclaimed a fast, and everyone, great and small, put on sackcloth. ..When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil ways, God changed his mind about the calamity that he had said he would bring upon them, and he did not do it. “ [NRSA: Jonah 3:1-5,10]
Context: OT Prophetic, This part of the Jonah story begins after the adventure with the big fish.
- Living Through Being Swallowed Up
- Three Days in the Belly
- Three Days Walking through the City
- Dismiss the debates about survivability inside a whale or large beast– a distraction
- The Retreat: three days apart, followed by the message being shared.
- The story has a miracle, but that is not its real power…
- Call to Repentance / Sackcloth
- God uses our trials, struggles, and times of fear, self-doubt, and rejection to model us and inspire us to ministry
- The wearing of Sackcloth is a public witness that we are someone going through some tragic time but we ALSO know God is using this time to 1) call to repentance, 2) call to faith, 3) Call to sharing.
- The People changed their hearts and God changes God’s mind.
- Shocking to Jonah: Imagine our political leaders confessing their corruptions and ask for God to forgive.
- The evidence of Jonah’s journey of faith, inspired a nation, to turn toward God.
- What struggles, trials, suffering has tested my/your faith?
- How will God use our fears, doubts, and failures for God’s good work and witness?
- Our role as prophets: Call others to seek God’s truth. Not left or right, rather the heart of God.
- God’s call to Jonah was to get up and go, reveal the darkness and evil in people’s lives, and repent/ turn toward God. The Action Plan
- The Fruit of faithfulness.
- The power of trusting God.
- The transformation from evil through faith in action.
As we look around and listen to our neighbors, our friends and enemies, is there a need for people to turn away from broken, hurtful, sinful ways? YES!
- As we see and hear the news and messages around us, what are we, the Body of Christ, called tell the world.
- Do we jump on the world’s band wagon?
- Are we called to take political sides?
- Are called to be quiet and polite?
- Are we scared of being swallowed up by