In the face of the darkening pressure of our rebellion, God’s grace shines brighter and deeper still. As far and as fast as we run, God runs even faster and further to get us back. He goes to the ends of the earth, the bottom of the sea, and ultimately to the dark and deep caverns of a deathly tomb. His mercy travels great distances for those he loves.
This is the message of the book of Jonah. Here we find human rebellion in all its horror and stupidity. We see the evil cruelty of Nineveh, a people wicked beyond words. We see the religious professional Jonah, a prophet of the true God who wants nothing more than to get away from the God he claims to worship. And we see God, a God who rules and redeems, who showers mercy on the undeserving – the fugitive prophet and the idol-worshipping pagans. In these two sides of human sinfulness we recognize ourselves. We are Nineveh. We are Jonah. And we need a Savior. We find this Savior in the pages of this small book, where the height of our rebellion violently collides with the awesomeness of God’s love.
And we are left speechless.
Over the next few weeks during our midweek worship service (Wednesdays at 6:30 pm) we are going to travel the world in the pages of the book of Jonah. We want to invite you to join us on this cruise through the series Into the Depths: The Triumphant Message of Jesus in the Tragic Ministry of Jonah. Here’s what’s coming up:
February 29, 2012: Mission: All the World’s a Stage (Jonah 1:1-2)
March 14, 2012: Catch Me If You Can: The Tragedy of a Galilean Fugitive (Jonah 1:1-6)
March 21, 2012: Hurricane: The Storm of the God of the Sea (Jonah 1:7-17)
March 28, 2012: Into the Depths: A Strange and Severe Salvation (Jonah 1:17)
April 18, 2012: Cries in the Dark: A Desperate Prayer From a Fish’s Stomach (Jonah 2)
April 25, 2012: Dawn: Rising Grace in the Heart of Darkness (Jonah 3)
May 2, 2012: A Bitter Anger: The Horror of the Graceless Heart (Jonah 4)
May 15, 2012: The Boundless Deep: The Triumph of a Galilean Rabbi (Matt.12:38-42)