Jonah: forget the freakin' fish!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008
I didn't go to church when I was a kid, but I have been exposed to the christian sub-culture enough to know that in Sunday School people who show up in the Bible's narrative are often used for character education.  Be like Noah... Be like Moses... Be like King David...

Jesus being the great exception, the problem with this model is that these people were often terrible screw-ups!  Noah got wasted, Moses was a murderer, and David was a adulterer with a bonus murder for good measure.  

Enter Jonah.  There's a book in the Bible that bears his name and we've heard the "Sunday School stories" about his episode with the whale (which was actually a fish and it's only three verses out of the entire freakin' book people!).  But this isn't sunday school, this is Next Level Church and we like to deal in nice healthy doses of reality.  

Jonah might be character education, but it's a story about how not to deal with God.  If anything Jonah's life reveals who we really are, not who we should be.  When God asks Jonah to do something Jonah balks and basically says, "I don't wanna" then takes off in the other direction.  He is suicidal, bitter, and angry about how merciful God is to people who don't seem to deserve it.  

Yet in this story of the reluctant prophet we are forced to see ourselves both as individuals and corporately.  How will we respond to God?  So bring a friend who doesn't normally go to church to a brand new series that will challenge you to take the next step in your relationship with God.  A step toward even when you don't know if you can!


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