Jonah and God’s Mercy

Jonah 1:1-7; 3:1-10 [4:1-11]
Luke 18:13 Opt Psalm 88:3-7, 13

10am Drive in Worship Nov 1st

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Call to Worship

Lord God, when I am in the Pit, You are there 

I will come with the voice of Thanksgivingi

When I cry out to you, you hear.

In the morning, my prayer comes before your.

The steadfast love of the Lord never changes, God’s mercies never come to an end

Deliverance is the Lord’s,  Let us praise God together!

Praise Ye the the Lord, The Almighty 482

Praise ye the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation!

O my soul, praise Him, for He is thy health and salvation

All ye who hear, Now to his temple draw near.
Join me in great adoration

Praise ye the Lord, Who o’er all things so wondrously reigneth, 

Shelters thee under His wings, yeah so gently sustaineth!

Hast thou not seen How thy desires e’er have been

Granted in what He ordaineth? 

Praise ye the Lord! O let all that is in me adore Him! 

All that hath life and breath, come not with praises before Him!

Let the Amen, Sound from His people again;
Gladly for aye we adore Him. 

Jonah 1:1-3, 7, 17, 2:1, 10, 17, 4:6-8, 10-11

(1 Finger) Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai, saying, ‘Go at once to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before me.’ 

(2 Fingers) But Jonah set out to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish; 

(3 Fingers) so he paid his fare and went on board, to go with them to Tarshish, away from the presence of the Lord.

(4 Fingers) The sailors* said to one another, ‘Come, let us cast lots, so that we may know on whose account this calamity has come upon us.’ So they cast lots, and the lot fell on Jonah

(5 FingersO But the Lord provided a large fish to swallow up Jonah; and Jonah was in the belly of the fish for three days and three nights

(6 Fingers) Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the belly of the fish, Then the Lord spoke to the fish, and it spewed Jonah out upon the dry land. 

(Pastor Katy) Jonah went to Ninevah, and all the people repented with fasting and rending of clothes, and God saw and changed God’s mind about punishing them, and Jonah was angry at God’s mercy and said let me die!

(7 Fingers) And the Lord said, ‘Is it right for you to be angry?’ 5Then Jonah went out of the city and sat down east of the city, and made a booth for himself there.

(8 Fingers) The Lord God appointed a bush, and made it come up over Jonah, to give shade over his head, to save him from his discomfort; so Jonah was very happy about the bush.

(9 Fingers) But when dawn came up the next day, God appointed a worm that attacked the bush, so that it withered. 8When the sun rose, God prepared a sultry east wind, and the sun beat down on the head of Jonah so that he was faint and asked that he might die. He said, ‘It is better for me to die than to live.’

(10 Fingers) Then the Lord said, ‘You are concerned about the bush, for which you did not labour and which you did not grow; it came into being in a night and perished in a night. 11And should I not be concerned about Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who do not know their right hand from their left, and also many animals?’

Children’s Sermon

Sermon     “God Among the Sinners”   Pastor Katy Stenta sermon video

Communion: Invitation

The Lord be with you

And also with you

Lift up your hearts

We lift our hearts to the Lord

Let us give thanks to the Lord

It is right to give our thanks and praise ..

Dear God, you are our creator. You keep track of us when we are hot or tired or complaining. You are among us, and give us the shade from the sun, and the whale in the floods. You come to us when we are sad and bitter, you cleanse us and give us rest. You welcome each of us into the communion of saints. Send your Holy Spirit here today, so that we may celebrate this meal with you, Jesus! Help us we pray…

(prayer continues…) as your son taught us to pray. Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed by Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the Kingdom and Power and the Glory Forever. Amen.

For All the Saints 526

For all the saints who from their labors rest,

Who Thee by faith before the world confessed,

Thy name, O Jesus,

be forever blest. Alleluia, Alleluia

Thou was their rock, their fortress and their might,

Thous, Lord their captain, in the well fought fight

Thou, in the darkness drear, 

their one true light Alleluia, Alleluia

O blest communion, fellowship divine!

We feebly struggle, they in glory shine;

all are one in Thee, 

for all are Thine, Alleluia, Alleluia

Jonah, before the Whale–Growing Pains of Mainstream religion

Why did Jonah run away?

To me, this is the question of change that the church forever faces.

Item 1: Jonah was called by God (scary enough right?)

Item 2: Jonah was called to give bad news….

Item 3: Jonah was called to give bad news to people he didn’t like, and they probably didn’t like him either

Item 4: Jonah was asked to tell the truth/be a prophet.

Prophecy is a very scary gift, most of us run away from prophecy. Why? Because prophecy is foreseeing the future both as is and as it could be. Prophecy is envisioning the world from both our and God’s perspective and then giving the leaders/movers/matriarchs and patriarchs a choice.

And the choice, now the choice is the issue.

So often the religious message comes across as conform or die,……
or maybe its change or die…

Funny isn’t it? The choice which once seemed so certain is suddenly difficult. Who want to conform–who wouldn’t rather be Spiritual but not Religious, after all what is religion if it isn’t another way to conform…another way of predicting who is “in” and who is “out”…its all about getting saved after all isn’t it

On the other hand, who wants to change. Hasn’t what we’ve been doing good enough…and even if it hasn’t been, we are used to it; better the devil we know and all that…..

Except neither of these are what faith is about. Later Jonah says that he ran away because he knew that God would show mercy and he basically didn’t want God to have mercy on his enemies–why should he bother.

In a time when religion is viewed as primarily judgmental, I have to ask what is it the church is running away from today? What are we Christians afraid of…

Is it conformity?

Is it change?

Or is it God’s grace and mercy? Is it that God’s plan for us requires flexibility and grace (an ability to dance through life so to speak)—flexibility and grace which are neither choice to conform or to change, but rather the ever-dance in between.

PS: Notice that to run away from one’s call is to run away from God!!!

(Note: all italics are sarcastic)

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