Advent with the Prophet Jonah: Day 24

But God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?” “It is,” he said. “And I’m so angry I wish I were dead.” Jonah 4:9 Again, God asks Jonah if his anger is right, this time his anger about the destruction of the plant. And Jonah, oblivious to theContinue reading “Advent with the Prophet Jonah: Day 24”

Advent with the Prophet Jonah: Day 20

Are you right to be angry?The question smarts like a slapped face.Wrong wording.Whether or not I am right, my anger deserves the time of day.So turn a sullen, smarting cheek.Stare into the raging haze.Grace taps your chipped shoulder.Grace takes the heat from your brow,yet inwardly you burn with a summer sun that has no roomContinue reading “Advent with the Prophet Jonah: Day 20”

Advent with the Prophet Jonah: Day 19

Jonah had gone out and sat down at a place east of the city. There he made himself a shelter, sat in its shade and waited to see what would happen to the city. Jonah 4:5 Jonah, like me, has no answer to God for his anger. He can give the reason for it, butContinue reading “Advent with the Prophet Jonah: Day 19”

Advent with the Prophet Jonah: Day 18

But the Lord replied, “Is it right for you to be angry?” Jonah 4:4 The answer, of course, has to be no. No, it isn’t right for Jonah to be angry. He has just identified one of God’s must defining characteristics for Israel – His mercy – and framed it as a problem, something to “forestall”. SoContinue reading “Advent with the Prophet Jonah: Day 18”

Advent with the Prophet Jonah: Day 17

He prayed to the Lord, “Isn’t this what I said, Lord, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. Now, Lord, takeContinue reading “Advent with the Prophet Jonah: Day 17”

Advent with the Prophet Jonah: Day 16

But to Jonah this seemed very wrong, and he became angry. Jonah 4:1 It’s all too easy to judge Jonah. Easy also to declare that, because all anger is at its heart a desire to be in the place of God, it should simply respond to a biblical rebuke and go away. Seeing anger thisContinue reading “Advent with the Prophet Jonah: Day 16”

Advent with the Prophet Jonah: Day 7

Now the Lord provided a huge fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the Lord his God. Jonah 1:17-2:1 There’s a line from Shakespeare’s Macbeth that has particularly held on to me since I first read itContinue reading “Advent with the Prophet Jonah: Day 7”

Advent with the Prophet Jonah: Day 6

God of sea and dry land,God of Nineveh, Bethlehemand the belly of the whale,God of heights, God of depths,God of my darkest abyss:I have mademyself my god.I mustbecomeNothing.YoumustbecomeAll.I have blocked the channels whereYou reach me in my darkest hour.I have clenched my fist to fightin place of Your hand charged with life.I must go I-don’t-know-wheretoContinue reading “Advent with the Prophet Jonah: Day 6”

Advent with the Prophet Jonah: Day 5

The sea was getting rougher and rougher. So they asked him, “What should we do to you to make the sea calm down for us?” “Pick me up and throw me into the sea,” he replied, “and it will become calm. I know that it is my fault that this great storm has come uponContinue reading “Advent with the Prophet Jonah: Day 5”

Advent with the Prophet Jonah: Day 4

Then the sailors said to each other, “Come, let us cast lots to find out who is responsible for this calamity.” They cast lots and the lot fell on Jonah. So they asked him, “Tell us, who is responsible for making all this trouble for us? What kind of work do you do? Where do you comeContinue reading “Advent with the Prophet Jonah: Day 4”