Many people’s initial response is, “a big fish” and while the story certainly involves a large fish, in my mind, Jonah is a story about the outrageous love of God.
The narrative begins:
“The word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai: “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.”But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord. (Jonah 1:1-3)
In response to the call to go to Nineveh on God’s behalf, Jonah makes the decision to run from God and flee God’s presence. This is both a sinful decision and an action that will inevitably be unsuccessful. For while it is possible to rebell against God’s call, it is impossible to ultimately escape God’s presence. And as the narrative unfolds, both Nineveh and Jonah will discover the outrageous love of God.
I love what Brennan Manning said about the outrageous love of God:
“Do you believe that the God of Jesus loves you beyond worthiness and unworthiness, beyond fidelity and infidelity—that he loves you in the morning sun and in the evening rain—that he loves you when your intellect denies it, your emotions refuse it, your whole being rejects it. Do you believe that God loves without condition or reservation and loves you this moment as you are and not as you should be.”
How might an affirmative answer to the above question transform the way we relate to both God and others?
Here is our complete worship flow:
- This Is Amazing Grace (Wickham and Riddle)
- Your Love Never Fails (Chris McClarney)
- Glorious (Trent Smith)
- Here’s My Heart (David Crowder Band)
- Forever Reign
- Announcements and Offering
- La Zarca Report
- Message (Jonah 1: Running from God)
- Reprise: Here’s My Heart
You can learn what other communities of faith experienced this weekend oi worship at The Worship Community.