God Relents From Punishing and Jonah Pouts

This meditation is based on a passage for October 26, 2010 in the Daily Lectionary Year 2 from the Book of Common Worship for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) (1993).

Text: Jonah 3:1-4:11

Reflection and Question: We return to the prophetic story of Jonah after the great fish spews Jonah out onto the dry land and God renews the charge that he go to Nineveh to call for repentance. Wiser now, Jonah complies and to his horror, Nineveh responds, repenting with fasting and dressing in sackcloth. Now Jonah is thoroughly enraged at God for displaying mercy on the city. In the exchange between Jonah and God, the point is made that God can do what God wants, including sparing Nineveh, the great enemy and oppressor of Jerusalem. When have you pouted because God’s will is not yours?

Prayer: Loving God, no matter where we stand on the various controversies that preoccupy us, we recognize ourselves in Jonah who so desires You to smite our foes. Remind us, as You do Jonah, that You are a God of mercy to all of us. Thanks. Amen.