Four week series looking at an amazing and entertaining story that is Jonah.
West is not East
|Monday Memo notes|
1) There’s more to digest in Jonah 1, specifically the sailors and their contrast to Jonah himself. (Hint – in quite the intended ironic turn, they end up coming off way better than Jonah does.) Revisit Jonah 1, and see what you can glean from the juxtaposition of Jonah with the sailors: Jonah 1 NRSV
2) Want to read part of the Old Testament you might have never looked at before? Try Nahum, written to decry the wickedness of Nineveh/Assyria (see Jonah 1.2): Nahum 1 NRSV
3) In effect, God’s call to Jonah was to go and love his nation’s enemy. This then points us forward to how Jesus Himself articulated that same truth (Matthew 5.43-48). Here’s a 10 minute excerpt from a sermon on that subject, given in 1957 by the great Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: Martin Luther King Jr. Love Your Enemies Speech
4) Here’s a prayer for the week:
INSPIRED BY JONAH 1 (B. J. BEU – MINISTRY MATTERS):
Holy God, sometimes I would rather proclaim judgment upon those I distrust and scorn rather than see them redeemed and transformed.
Forgive my hardness, O God, and my reluctance to acknowledge Your love for those who condemn and work against me.
I lay at Your feet my hesitations, unwillingness, anger, and fears about other people I may not know, understand, or even like, for these attitudes and feelings impede Your reconciling work in the world.
Teach me to love both strangers and enemies, so that my life may proclaim that love is stronger than hate, and mercy is greater than vengeance.
I humbly ask all of this in the name of the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ our Lord, amen.
Grace Like a Fish
|Monday Memo notes|
1) Here are the prayer prompts that ended the sermon yesterday. You can use them throughout the week in your own devotional life as a way to keep Jonah 2 fresh on your mind…The 3rd one will be especially important for you if you’re currently navigating some real distress in your life:
– Pray about that which in your life you think is impossible to overcome
– Get real with God about your distress
– Remember God’s past faithfulness to you when you really needed it
– Pray expectantly for His deliverance to come, however surprising a form it may take
– Pray for your distress to be the pain of rebirth
2) Interested in that great Philip Yancey book on grace? Here are some great quotes from it to whet your appetite, and/or for your encouragement and learning: What’s So Amazing About Grace? Quotes by Philip Yancey
And here’s a link to the book itself: What’s So Amazing About Grace?: Yancey, Philip
3) This online devotional, especially geared for young adults but great for all, about rescue from trouble will be a wonderful add-on to our reflections on Jonah 2: d365 Daily Devotionals (And if you like this devotional, you can sign up to receive it for free…it’s one of the three that Pastor Chris gets and reads daily, in fact.)
4) And just for a little fun (for all ages), here’s Jonah 1-3 as portrayed by Veggitales:
Jonah the Movie | Movie Clip
And here are the outtakes: Jonah A VeggieTales Movie: Outtakes
One Day in Nineveh
|Monday Memo notes|
1) Scripture reading on God reaching the unreachable:
First from the gospels…
– Luke 14.15-24: Luke 14.12-24 NRSV
– Matthew 9.9-13: Matthew 9.9-13 NRSV– Luke 5.12-16: Luke 5.12-16 NRSV
And now about God reaching out to enfold Greco-Romans, an event most perplexing to the earliest Jewish Christians…
– Acts 10.1-11.18 NRSV
– Acts 15.1-35 NRSV
2) A prayer for the week – from the churches of southern India, used in yesterday’s service, changed from 1st person plural to 1st person singular:
“O Lord, You have called me to be Your witness to my neighbors and all the nations. Have mercy on me who know what You want but have failed to do it. Free me from disinterest and laziness, and instead fill me with hope and zeal, so that I may bear Your cross, build Your Kingdom, and share the good news of Jesus. I offer this prayer to You, Father, Son, and Spirit, one God, world without end, amen.”
3) A quote to remember about unsaid words from poet Tony DeLonge (2016):
“The things left unsaid, and the void those unspoken words leave, often have more impact than what is said. Words unspoken are insidious foes, never leaving our minds, sometimes choking in our throats, always regretted. Fear of speaking makes us fear more and more, and speak less and less, until we find our every word full of only emptiness.”
4) A longer piece from Max Lucado about our God of second chances: The Gospel of Second Chances – Max Lucado
5) A practical piece on how Christians can reach those they think are unreachable (from a retired pastor and current Christian thought leader, podcaster, and influencer): How To Reach Unchurched People Who Don’t Think They Need God
I Really Love this Plant
|Monday Memo notes|
Scripture reading this week:
– In Jonah 4, God does play within the boundaries of our own human definition of “friend” and “enemy”…Jesus addresses that at the end of Matthew 5: Matthew 5.43-48 NRSV
– Jesus tells a parable about what we observe in Jonah 4: someone who was forgiven much not being willing to exercise that same forgiveness to others: Matthew 18.23-35 NRSV
Diagnosing your anger this week:
Do the empty chair exercise this week (mentioned in the sermon) in regard to your anger. (Use a pen and paper, if it helps.)
Focus your attention on the following three questions, drawn from Jonah 4:
• Are you angry about small things, which may be diverting your attention from much more important things?
• Is your anger right?
• Has your stubborn, intractable anger exiled you?
Let your rhythm be periods of voicing you anger, and then listening quietly for God’s reply, poke, or fresh insight.