Monday, December 12, 2011

(Not) A Superhero

My nephew made me watch this...
(warning: funny but irreverent content)

Ok, so I really don't think I'm going to end up in the belly of a big fish.
But Jonah is one character in the Bible I identify with on so many different levels...

His ability to disagree with God...and act on it.
He ran when God said “go,” in the absolute opposite direction.
Sometimes I listen and then choose to do precisely what God says not to.

His inertia NOT to get involved.
He was asleep in the bottom of the boat when it was going down.
I too sometimes ignore problems and hope they go away.

His sense of justice over mercy (working on this)...
He preferred to see the destruction of the wicked over their repentence...
I want to decide who is worthy of hearing the gospel -
and who isn't, based on my own personal standards.

His reluctant obedience.
It's not until he's faced with personal destruction that Jonah finally caves...
Often I have to have my hand burnt before I'll take it out of the fire.

His self-pity...
When he saw God's goodness to others and grace on the “undeserving,”
he just felt sorry for himself...
And I confess that my litany runs on too:
Why them and not me?
This is not what I wanted in serving you
This was not the path I would have chosen
And I gripe, and complain
And feel like I'm so abused
And misunderstood
And I feel sorry for myself.
(It's quite ok to laugh now – the ridiculousness of it makes me chuckle too)

His ability to look for comfort in the wrong places...
He was enraged that the vine that God provided died,
you know... the one he didn't plant or make grow,
but that was providing him with shade,
instead of rejoicing in the glory of the love and mercy of God
on an entire nation,
not understanding that God loves people ridiculously more than anything else
that He does NOT delight in the destruction of even the wicked
that in His heart is redemption at any cost...  even to Himself,
the foolishness of a crucified king.

And when I see this vine that I call “home,”
this shelter for heart and body being taken away from me
I mourn and rage,
even knowing beneath it all that this is my Lover's heart
that because of His great love for ALL – not just for me –
that my temporary discomfort is a small price
to Him... and maybe even to me...
because my Shepherd did not consider himself above me,
did not refuse to leave His shade of Heaven
did not refuse us His time
His love
His tears
His life.

And so in this season, I remember 
and worship Jesus,
Emmanuel. God with us - God who came.
A very unorthodox and radical
image of the Father who loves
all of us, the wonderfully undeserving.
...because we don't/can't earn God's love.

and marvel
that He would choose someone as
pathetic and unreliable as Jonah
...and as me,
to share His message.

And He loves me still... this is what gives me the strength to stand. 

"And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful......see that you fulfill the ministry that you have received in the Lord."
 - Paul to the Colossians

I thank God for Jonah.

But he answered them, An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” 
Matt 12:39-40

No comments:

Post a Comment