A popular children’s book called Where’s Waldo has readers searching the pages to see if they can locate the red and white striped shirt of the books main character: Waldo. Sometimes I wonder if God ever feels that way about us? We just finished a eight-week sermon series called “Sent.” But we struggle to actually incorporate the actions of being sent into our everyday lives. Jonah had a similar problem! Far from being just a story about a man who got swallowed by a big fish, Jonah is an epic tale of our struggle to embrace the immensity of God’s compassion for this world. “Where’s Jonah” will give us the opportunity to marvel at and be moved by God’s unfathomable grace.
Arise and Go!
Sunday, August 2 – The book of Jonah begins and ends with God speaking. The story is about God, his Word and its impact on those who hear it. Jonah was a prophet, we might say a pastor to God’s Old Testament people in a time when the leadership, the government of Israel had become corrupt. There were two kinds of prophets/pastors in that day, those who preached what those in power wanted to hear and those who spoke the truth as it was revealed to them from God. Jonah gets the shock of his life when God says, “Arise, go to Nineveh.” Imagine being sent to the heart of Berlin at the height of WWII, or to Moscow at the peak of communist power, to call for repentance! But God’s Word will not be constrained by social, geographical, and moral boundaries. Jesus is for all people. Arise and Go are more than a little uncomfortable still today.