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25 February 2015

Read today’s Gospel Reading is Luke 11.29-32

Jesus thought so highly of the story of Jonah, the wonderful Old Testament prophet, who so reluctantly learned to obey God and go to warn the Ninevites of their sins. When the time came and they repented, Jonah was just as reluctant to accept that God loved them and forgave them.  That’s just it. God in his wisdom is always far more gracious, kind and long-suffering than we expect him to be.

It is also worth noticing how again and again in the Gospels we read of outsiders who show themselves to be just as good, if not better, than the insiders. In that story Jesus told of a priest and a Levite who walked by on the other side of the road. They left the injured man unattended to – in the hope the others would come by and help him – as,  the man from that despised town of Samaria did –  tending his wounds and taking him to a place of safety – an Inn.

God’s surprising generosity is met by the astonishing readiness of unexpected people who respond.   In the book of Jonah, to show their repentance, not only did Nineveh’s inhabitants not eat or drink a thing, and put on sackcloth, but also all the animals did not eat or drink a thing and had sackcloth put on them too.

The full extent of God’s grace and kindness is a lesson we have to keep on learning. All of us are made in God’s image and likeness. We can all respond to God’s love. All are welcome, all invited and all who come to him and seek him may encounter forgiveness – again and again.

 

Today’s Gospel Reading is Luke 11.29-32

When the crowds were increasing, he began to say, ‘This generation is an evil generation; it asks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.  For just as Jonah became a sign to the people of Nineveh, so the Son of Man will be to this generation.  The queen of the South will rise at the judgement with the people of this generation and condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to listen to the wisdom of Solomon, and see, something greater than Solomon is here!  The people of Nineveh will rise up at the judgement with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the proclamation of Jonah, and see, something greater than Jonah is here!