Monday, January 19, 2015

Epiphany 3 B - Jonah 3:1-5, 10

Jonah 3:1-10
God’s mind was changed but Jonah’s was not. In the beginning of the story Jonah tries to avoid going to Nineveh because he believes God’s word and is counting on it. If the people of Nineveh do not repent they will be destroyed and since Jonah would like nothing more than that he goes in the opposite direction hoping to seal the deal and call God’s bluff. But God trumps Jonah and has a great fish swallow him to get him to the church on time. Since the people of Nineveh worship a fish god in the form of a man Jonah doesn’t have to cry out very loudly to get the pagans to pay attention. Jonah is so angry he would rather die than endure God’s mercy for Israel’s enemies but then God is always more willing to forgive than we are. I know Lyle Lovett wasn’t thinking of this story when he wrote God Will but it seems to me if Jonah sang country he could put his heart into this song. 

“And who keeps on loving you
When you've been lying
Saying things that ain't what they seem
God does
But I don't
God will
But I won't
And that's the difference
Between God and me.

Of course we believe the “difference between God and me” is Jesus so if we want to put our heart into God’s way of being we will have to sing a different tune.

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