Conclusion to the Sign of Jonah series
All the signs of Jonah point to Jesus. The signs that reveal Jesus’ presence in our lives are sacrifice, death and resurrection, God’s word and Repentance that leads to life. Are your lives defined by these signs?
Jonah did not want to go to Nineveh as the representative of God’s people to do the work of God. We will see next week that Jonah’s flight from God was consistent with kind of prophet he was. Jonah and Israel did not understand that their mission was not separate from their life as the people of God. That was the lesson Jonah was learning to teach Israel. It’s the same lesson we need to learn.
Your mission is not separate from your life as the people of God. I can ask all kinds of questions about missions. How many of us are foster parents? Support a missionary? Visit lonely old widows tucked away alone in retirement homes all over the Puget Sound. But our problem is more fundamental than that. Why would we want to add to our church? How are we doing loving the people we already have? How many different families have you had over in the last two weeks? The last two months? The last two years?
We don’t reach out to the world because we do so poorly reaching out to each other. Reaching across the street starts with reaching across the pew. I know you do not have an affinity with everyone. And being nice is not the same as loving people. You may not feel animosity toward anyone in this church but how many people’s welfare in this congregation would you say you are passionate about? We think that because we are polite to the bank teller and the barista and are courteous drivers that we are loving people. We think if we ask someone how work is going while standing around the cookie table or make some amusing comments about baseball in passing conversations that we are loving people. But love is defined differently by Jesus. Continue reading “Be a sign that points to Jesus”