“10When God saw what [the people of Ninevah] did, how they turned from their evil ways, God changed his mind about the calamity that he had said he would bring upon them; and he did not do it. 4:1But this was very displeasing to Jonah, and he became angry. 2He prayed to the Lord and said, “O Lord! Is not this what I said while I was still in my own country? That is why I fled to Tarshish at the beginning; for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and ready to relent from punishing.” Jonah 3:10-4:2
Our First Reading assigned for this coming Sunday is from Jonah. This is a curious story about Jonah whom God calls to warn a town of the impending judgement of God. First, Jonah goes in opposite direction and ends up in the belly of a fish, which eventually spits him on the shore of the appointed town.
When the people repent, God has mercy. Jonah is mad. He thought God should destroy them anyway.
Isn’t that how we often are? We want to be right. So bad. We want the last word in an argument. We believe our perception is the absolute reality.
The underlined verse above ought to be familiar. It’s repeated throughout the Old Testament and is how God’s covenanted people experienced God to be. Through the life, death and resurrection of Christ, God’s grace, mercy and steadfast love is made manifest.
Praise God that God is God and we are not! God has the last word. God’s perception of reality has the full picture of what was, is now and shall ever be.
What does it mean to you to profess faith in God whose character continually shows grace, mercy and steadfast love? What is a difficult relationship you have in which inviting God to have the last word might bring about God’s healing in your heart?
Pastor Wendy Kalan