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Escapism, Chauvinism and Training in Humility August 30, 2008

Posted by Andy in Recent Sermons.
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I’m planning a short 3-week preaching series on lessons from the book of Jonah. In preparing material on the first chapter I came to realise that as the story unfolds and as Jonah flees the presence of God, themes of escapisim, chauvinism and training in humility become apparent.

The book of Jonah was (and still is?) read out each year on the Jewish Day of Atonement as a form of penitential and confessional prayer. Here is a related prayer that was also used:

We have grown accustomed to sin and the fragments of scripture lie shattered in our life; charity has withered with calculation and the sparks of purity have burnt out. Yet still we come on Yom Kippur and God who said ‘I have forgiven’ whispers it again to us and waits for our reply. What shall it be? What form will it take? Let us repair what can still be repaired. Let us give back the gain we earned by injustice. Let us make peace with our injured brother. Let us restore the person we wronged. Let us admit what is false in ourselves. Let us put right what is wrong in our family life. Let us not sour the joy of living. The gates of His mercy are still open. Let us enter in. Amen.

On a lighter note, perhaps if Jonah were alive today he would have enjoyed singing the popular song of The Village People (1979) and latterly the cover version by the Pet Shop Boys (1993):

‘Go West – life is peaceful there; Go West – where the sky is blue…’