Monday, 8 April 2013

Monday - the sign of Jonah

Prayer:   As we rise up from our sleep this day O Lord,  may we go forth and do Your work.  Help us at all time and in all things.  Deliver us from every evil thing of this world and from pursuit by the devil.  Save us and bring us to Your eternal kingdom.  For You are our Creator,  You inspire all good thoughts in us and in You is our hope.  Glory, glory, glory O Lord,  now and forever and unto the ages of ages.  Amen.   #590  Oxford Book of Prayer

Read St. Luke  11: 29 -  32

The Sign of Jonah.  Jesus turns to the crowd and says, “This is a wicked generation.  It asks for a miraculous sign,  but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.”   What?  What is Jesus saying here?          Remember the story of the Prophet Jonah?  God sent the Prophet Jonah  to wicked Nineveh so that the people would repent and return to God.  But Jonah did not want to go to Nineveh.   Jonah had a temper tantrum instead.   Jonah did not believe that by going to Nineveh and prophecying that the people return to God that anything would happen.   After many trials,  Jonah reluctantly went to Nineveh.  And the city repented and returned to God.

Here the crowds around Jesus are looking for proof that Jesus really is the Messiah.  Now,  from our side of history here today we read the New Testament Gospels and can’t understand why the people did not understand that Jesus was the Messiah.   We can figure it out!  But we read the story in the Gospels  and we know the ending.  This makes a big difference.   

In our churches today we are looking for miraculous signs  that our Churches will be filled with people.  God didn’t promise us that.   We  look for miraculous signs that our Churches will be financial stable.  God didn’t promise us that.     We look for miraculous signs that our Churches will be able to do missions in our community.  God didn’t promise us that.   We look for miraculous signs that our Ministers and Elders will spiritually lead the Church.  God didn’t promise us that.

And so,  are we really any different than the crowd who was following Jesus?  They had Jesus right in their midst, and yet they still wanted more signs that Jesus really was the Messiah.  Do we need more signs too?

What did God promise us?   That all our sins are forgiven and we are given eternal life.
It is out of our love and gratitude for God that we push up our sleeves and go out into the community helping the poor,  healing those who hurt,  caring for those who can’t care for themselves,  and loving those who think there is no love left in the world.

What will you do today to bring about the love of God to your community?

Prayer:  Holy Father,  keep us in Your truth.  Holy Son, protect us under the wings of Your cross.  Holy Spirit,  make us temples and dwelling places for Your glory.  Grant us Your peace all the days of our lives.  O Lord.  Amen.   #600 Oxford Book of Prayer.

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