The book of Jonah gives us a glimpse into the nature of man and the heart of God, the tendencies and inclinations of man to disobey, rebel and run away always coupled with a God who relentlessly pursues, loves and forgives. Jonah is a tale of God’s persistence. Just like the story of the prodigal son, the story of Jonah, too, is about a gracious father who sends a fish to save Jonah, not to punish him.
Sally Lloyd Jones writes in the Jesus Storybook Bible, “No, the Bible isn’t a book of rules, or a book of heroes. The Bible is most of all a Story. It’s an adventure story about a young Hero who comes from a far country to win back his lost treasure. It’s a love story about a brave Prince who leaves his palace, his throne–everything–to rescues the ones he loves. It’s like the most wonderful of fairy tales that has come true in real life!”
Come and encounter Christ as we look at the book of Jonah this Sunday as Pastor Daniel preaches on:
The Prodigal Prophet (Part 2)
As I began preparations for our next sermon series at Grace, I found some interesting quotes about the next book we’ll be looking at.
“It required effort once for the whale to swallow Jonah,
and now it requires effort to swallow the story.”
“If the Bible had said that Jonah swallowed the whale,
I would believe it.”
You guessed it. We’ll be looking at the story of Jonah and the big fish. But did you know that it’s not a story about Jonah, the reluctant prophet. Yes, his name appears in every chapter of the book. But, it’s not about him. It’s not even about a great fish that swallows this runaway and then spits him out. There’s another name that appears in greater frequency than Jonah’s. The book (as is every book of the Bible) is about the greatness of God’s compassion and mercy and of His missionary heart. The story of Jonah is about God’s love for us and for the stranger.
Come and encounter Christ in the New Year!
~ Pastor Daniel
The last time I saw Jesus…
was in a bar room in New Orleans
but when I least expect it
here and there I see my Savior’s face.
He’s still my favorite loser
falling for the human race.
Jesus in New Orleans by Over the Rhine
These lyrics from Over the Rhine are always a little bit jarring to me; that Jesus can be found even in the places that we go to hide, like a bar in the Big Easy. Jesus says that he can be found by anyone who seeks him, by those we would have already written off as lost causes, by those who don’t hold much sway in the world. In fact, sometimes it’s the most unexpected people who are expecting to encounter Jesus and who are, in fact, ready to introduce him to the rest of the world.
Luke 2 ends with the story of two such unexpected heralds of the coming of Christ: a nobody named Simeon and a hundred year old widow named Anna. They were not only uninvited guests to Jesus’ dedication at the temple, but unlikely candidates to validate the 1 month-old’s identity as the messiah and Savior of God’s people.
Where will you meet God?
Come and encounter Christ in unexpected ways with us on the last Sunday of 2017
~ Pastor Brad
Join us this Sunday morning at 10:30 am at
Grace Sacramento as Pastor Brad Carpenter
closes out 2017 preaching on
Christ of the Unexpected
2958 59th Street, Sacramento, CA 95817