Merciful Love Prevailed

Call to Worship & Invocation

God called Jonah to prophesy to the Ninevites.
And Jonah ran.

From the belly of a great fish, Jonah prayed to God for salvation.
He remained in the fish for three days.

The fish vomited Jonah on the beach.
God called Jonah again.

Jonah warned the Ninevites: Forty days more and you will be destroyed.
The people believed Jonah.

Both the people and animals of Nineveh repented.
And God changed God’s mind.

Merciful love prevailed.
But Jonah was angry.

Let us pray.
Essence of all, we sometimes forget that your loving and merciful justice never changes. In relationship with humanity your love and justice is not about punishment or vindictiveness. Help us to reveal your image within ourselves, that we can forgive the unforgivable, love the unloveable, and strive for your just kingdom on earth in our every moment, in our every decision. Amen.

Tim strives to share God’s extravagant love for all–no matter what & without strings. Seeking to follow the lure of the Spirit, Tim writes about what it means to be a follower of Jesus in an era where Christianity has come to be associated with hatred and political wedge issues. “Heinous things have been said & done (& still are) in the name of the One who breathed in the Divine,” notes Tim, “but Jesus shows us that God loves extravagantly.” Following the teachings and life of Jesus is about inclusion not exclusion. It is about compassion, grace, and admitting no one has all the answers. It is about responding lovingly to the best of our human ability. It is about people not institutions. It is about social justice. It is about caring for creation. It is about being who we were each created to be. Tim is a former early childhood educator, a runner, a hiker, a devoted husband, father of two adult children and their spouses, and a grandfather of four perfect grandchildren. Tim serves as Senior Pastor of the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Albany, Oregon. He writes from home, from the coffee shop, and wherever the trail leads him.

Posted in Call to Worship, Invocation, Jonah, Jonah 4, Old Testament

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Creative Commons License BY-NC-ND 3.0

All materials by Tim Graves unless otherwise noted. Creative Commons License BY-NC-ND 3.0

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