So last Sunday we gathered. We prayed. Then we started checking in. The homework had been to read the book of Jonah at least once and then to notice where the Holy Spirit guided us to spend some time.
Some mentioned how Jonah is a pretty funny book (and guy) — that everything about it is pretty funny. Jonah might be a bit dramatic it seems…We had a riveting discussion on translation over if Jonah is swallowed up by a fish or a whale. (If you missed this — feel free to ask any who were gathered around the table for their thoughts!) Others named that Jonah is exactly like they are…a bit judgmental — and not wanting God to do what God is likely going to do! Others named the vast grace of God. Others noticed — how God prepared the hearts of those who were in Ninevah to receive the message. We also thought about how Jonah in the fish for 3 days is something that sets the stage for Jesus in the tomb/death for 3 days before rising! We found chapter 2 (Jonah’s prayer) honest, insightful, and to some humble and others a bit arrogant. We considered all this and so much more — the conversation around this entire book was RICH. Including a side conversation which also asked if Jonah could be considered a parable, and yes it could (I wonder though….whether it is or not, does that change the way you hear it? Why or why not?…especially considering that Jesus often spoke in parables…).
So we stayed with Jonah. Reading different parts of the book. Noticing the emotions that Jonah has. Noticing the movement. Noticing God’s sovereignty over all. Noticing how everyone perhaps except Jonah seemed to be fearful and in awe of God…Jonah seems to be the only one running from God and not listening!
After all this time with this delightful book of the Bible, what could be the homework this week? Well…..GET EXCITED (I know you ARE!) everyone is invited to make a 1 minute sermon based on Jonah!!!
All are invited to share….make some notes, (not too many now 🙂 ) — and speak from your heart. What sermon is God preaching to you right now through Jonah? Come prepared to share with all who will gather around the table on Sunday — and please know that the sermon God gifts us through you — will assuredly encourage and bless those who hear it! So keep hanging out with Jonah & bring the sermon that God writes on your heart to share with us all!
In Christ ~
Rev. Sabrina Slater