The worship theme at Waretown/Barnegat Anew these days is: God’s Creative Spaces. Like a creative genius God uses the most unlikely people and resources to get the job done. What job? Saving the world of course… one person at a time.
This week we are looking at the ‘reluctant missionary’ Jonah. Certainly one of the most famous Old Testament prophets, Johan is known, to Sunday School children all over the world, for being the only person ever to be swallowed by a fish… and live to tell about it:)
But, how many of us remember the REASON why Jonah was swallowed by a fish? Basically, God called him to go to an enemy city (Ninevah) and warn them to “change their ways or be destroyed”. Jonah makes it very clear to God that Jonah’s preference is to just let his enemies be destroyed… why bother warning them, why bother giving them a second chance.
But, God who is always a God of compassion, and ‘the second chance’, is set on warning Ninevah. So, what does Jonah do? He runs away!
Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai, saying,“Go at once to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before me.”But Jonah set out to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. (Jonah 1:1-3)
How many of us are living ‘on the run’? We know what God wants for us and our lives and, because of our shortfalls (fear, anger, revenge, jealousy, selfishness, etc.), we run away. If we read the whole story of Jonah (not long, just four short chapters) we find that even when we are at our worst… God is at God’s best!