The Book of Jonah: “God works with real people”
Readings: Jonah 3:1-5, 10, 4:1-11 and Mark 4:35-41
- Having read a bit about Jonah’s journey away from God which led him into deep waters last week, what do you hear and think about when you now read of God’s second offer to work collaboratively with him (Jonah 3 – 4)? Was there a time in your life when you experienced a second chance either from a loved one, friend or business associate? Maybe you’ve experienced what Jonah did when you were offered a second chance by God? Take a moment to remember that experience and reflect on how it came to be. What was it like to receive that kind of generosity? How did you feel to be trusted again with something of value or with something of importance to accomplish? What has been the result of moving forward with that second chance? Take a moment to give thanks.
- In chapter 4 we hear Jonah’s dialogue with God. He is downright angry. What do you notice about God as he listens to and converses with Jonah about his anger? Anger is a good indicator of what we most care about. It’s been said that anger illuminates what we belong to, what we wish to protect, and what we are willing to hazard ourselves for. What might be revealed about Jonah from his outbursts of anger? Have you been fiercely angry about something or with someone? Maybe, like Jonah, you’ve been or are angry with God. Maybe you are angry now. What do you do with your anger? Where is it directed or how does it manifest? Confront your own heart about what it is that is causing anger. How might the conversation between Jonah and God assist you in addressing your anger? Pray with God about it. Discover what your anger might be revealing about you.
- It seems that Jonah’s disobedience, his disdain for those God wanted to save, and his anger didn’t close God off or stunt God’s pursuit of Jonah but rather, it seemed to foster a robust ongoing conversation, where in the end, God’s intentions were realized for 120,000 people! What does the Jonah’s story stir in you? What resonates most with your life? Where you are today with God, with his global mission to others? How would you like to respond to God? Are there people around you that don’t know their right hand from their left that God might want to send you reach? Ask God to tune you in, turn you around, and point you towards those who may need to receive what you have to offer about God.