by Rev Don Schatz
You can listen to today’s devotion by clicking on this SoundCloud link.
…That is why I was so quick to flee 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.
Jonah 4:2, New International Version
Now here’s an ‘upper’ of a verse from which to frame a day’s devotional journey with the Lord. Nope, no mistake. Jonah’s audacity in addressing God, in this ‘in your face’ way, is even more ‘cheeky’ when one understands that this is Jonah explaining why he tried not to go to Nineveh. Sure, everything ‘came out alright’ for Jonah (pun intended). However, he wasn’t happy about it!
Jonah headed for the coast because he knew God was gracious and compassionate. He knew that if Nineveh listened when he spoke for God (listened and repented) then God would be gracious and compassionate. Jonah wanted none of that! That’s right, he did not want to be an instrument of God’s gracious compassion. So, when it happened just the way he knew it would, he screwed up his angry face and shouted: “I Told God So!”
Now, nope, I’m not going to ask if you have ever felt that way. Instead, I want to draw your attention to the relentless nature of God’s grace and compassion. It would not be denied. Fast forward from Jonah to Jesus. “Nevertheless, not my will, but yours be done.” A bit of a difference, no? Jesus knew what Jonah knew; and he walked every step of the way to the cross for us. He wasn’t an instrument of God’s grace. He was God’s grace given flesh, for us.
This Jesus calls to us, “Follow Me.” Follow Jesus in a walk like his, not the cross. He made that walk once, for all! Follow Jesus in walking, and talking, grace into the lives of those with whom we share our corner of the world. Follow Jesus in walking, and talking, compassion into the lives of those with whom we share our corner of the world. Grace in you. Compassion through you. I knew He would!
Copyright Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Colorado Springs, CO