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The Angry Healer

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Jonah Chapters 1-2 review

Then the LORD spoke to Jonah a second time: 2 “Get up and go to the great city of Nineveh, and deliver the message I have given you.”

3 This time Jonah obeyed the LORD’s command and went to Nineveh, a city so large that it took three days to see it all. 4 On the day Jonah entered the city, he shouted to the crowds: “Forty days from now Nineveh will be destroyed!” 5 The people of Nineveh believed God’s message, and from the greatest to the least, they declared a fast and put on burlap to show their sorrow.

6 When the king of Nineveh heard what Jonah was saying, he stepped down from his throne and took off his royal robes. He dressed himself in burlap and sat on a heap of ashes. 7 Then the king and his nobles sent this decree throughout the city:

“No one, not even the animals from your herds and flocks, may eat or drink anything at all. 8 People and animals alike must wear garments of mourning, and everyone must pray earnestly to God. They must turn from their evil ways and stop all their violence. 9 Who can tell? Perhaps even yet God will change his mind and hold back his fierce anger from destroying us.”

10 When God saw what they had done and how they had put a stop to their evil ways, he changed his mind and did not carry out the destruction he had threatened.

I love being involved in service that leads to the the salvation of people. There is no better feeling to me than knowing that I was part of the beginning of someones walk with Jesus. Most pastors I talk to have the same feeling when this happens becuase we know that we are called to lead people to salvation and to disciple them.
So this passage is very confusing becuase well even though Jonah is a prophet called by God He is not an enthusiastic to lead people who need to be closer to God to God. Everything about this passage up to know is confusing becuase who does not want to see every many women and Child repent and live in the kingdom of God?
Jonah I guess ...Jonah’s response to a successful turning of a culture to God was far from that of one that was called to bring Good news. recap chapter 4
Jonah’s anger at the Lord did not keep him from being obedient…but I may have cost him his life…and it certainly caused him his Spirit…We never hear about Jonah again after this....I don’t know if he died or if his anger cost him his calling…either way for all intensive purposes Jonah dies....

People can be obedient…even successful and miss the peace that God wants us to have becuase of our rage toward our fellow person.

Instead of joy, Jonah was angry enough to die because those who were lost repented and were now found....I am glad this is not the response that we have now…or is it?
Is there such a thing as selective salvation? Meaning is it possible that whether intentional or unintentional there are some who believe that not everyone is worthy of forgivness? Is it possible that some believe there is a line one crosses that leads to us being justified in withholding the good news of Jesus?
If you are aRepublican, Democrat, Biden supporter, Trump supporter, white supremacist, secular progressive, violent inmate, homosexual, city slicker or redneck…maybe you are beyond help. It is not cities or nations but these groups that are seen as the modern day Nineveh.
Yet, these are the ones Jonah and we are called to continue to share with no matter how we think about them. We are called to talk to all of these groups when we are able to not becuase we are able to change them but because the Holy Spirit is able to change cities, sub cultures and individuals as the words we speak continue with the empowerment of the Spirit to draw them closer to repentance and eventually belief.

The willingness to go…even in the face of hopelessness has been the hallmark of the Church at its best. This ideal must be recovered if we expect to witness the truly miraculous.

Jonah illustrates the most miraculous thing possible…not the being swallowed by a fish but the transformation of the will and in turn the transformation of an entire city. (The Size of Broken Arrow) It also illustrates the sadness or hopelessness that a believer can feel if they continue to allow their anger toward their fellow people control.

To hate worldliness is not the same as to hate the world…in fact hating the world is sin...

Challenge hate the Sin and Love the Sinner
John 3:17 NIV
17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
I have to admit I have had some Jonah moments in my life. In fact I have to admit there are people and groups that I have been very angry at during this time of turmoil we find ourselves in. I have had the thoughts that these people are too far from God to reach…I have even had a few arguments with God about interacting with some of these people.
I have been like Jonah and reached out to them even though I had a very bad opinion of them and guess what…Everyone of them not only appreciated my concern…but God showed me they are humans and in need of love from God’s people.
Unlike Jonah however I have been moved to repent for the anger I have had for them in my heart. I cannot say I don’t have days where I still struggle with my objections but God reminds me that God is at work in their lives and God want all to come to repentance....

Not becuase they are worthy but precisely becuase none of us are worthy.

The Church is a healing balm not a weapon of destruction. This has been lost in an increasingly polarized world. We must intentionally choose healing in spite of our anger or cynicism.
John 1:10-13

10 He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. 11 He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. 12 But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. 13 They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.

If ever there were someone who had the right to refuse serving it was Jesus…Knowing ahead of time that He would be rejected, humiliated and eventually crucified he still came to Nineveh (The World)
Instead of anger Jesus chooses love and compassion, Instead of hopelessness Jesus inspires hope for those who give themselves for the mission of God to a people, city, or group that seems hopeless.
Matthew 5:43–48 NLT
43 “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. 44 But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! 45 In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. 46 If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. 47 If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. 48 But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.
When we come to the table we are reminded the Jesus freely gave himself to a world that did not understand Him. He freely gave himself to a people that would turn their back on Him.
One of our Values as a Church is Compassion We want to serve our neighbors well, not just as a church, but as individuals. We want to do this by partnering with organizations throughout our city and offering each of our unique gifts in service to our community.
Let us come to the table thankful that even though we were Nineveh Jesus willingly and lovingly gave himself for us…Let us also pledge our lives to be obedient not just with our heads but with our heats as we remember that Jesus wants Nineveh to Repent and we should too.

All are welcome at the table to encounter in a real way the presence of our Lord...Let us humbly confess our sins and anger toward people we may have written off to God.

Silence is kept. All kneeling, the Officiant and People say
Almighty and most merciful Father, we have erred and strayed from your ways like lost sheep. We have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts. We have offended against your holy laws. We have left undone those things which we ought to have done, and we have done those things which we ought not to have done; and apart from your grace, there is no health in us.
Lord, have mercy upon us. Spare all those who confess their faults. Restore all those who are penitent, according to your promises declared to all people in Christ Jesus our Lord. And grant, O most merciful Father, for his sake, that we may now live a godly, righteous, and sober life,
To the glory of your holy Name. Amen.
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