June 14, 2018
The story of Jonah is one of the most popular stories for Sunday school with kids. That’s what I was reminded of when I attended an interfaith text study this week. And I wondered, as I had before when thinking about it, why this story is so popular for kids as it is pretty scary. Because he was afraid, Jonah ran away from God’s call to be his prophet. Eventually, God sent a big fish that swallows Jonah as a punishment.
The good news is that at the end, Jonah confesses and does what God commands and God forgives. In the Jewish tradition, Jonah is used for Yom Kippur, the holiday of reconciliation, because the story shows that despite Jonah’s fear and denial of God’s call, God reconciles. But the story also demonstrates that God has a plan for us that we can’t really avoid. He calls us all to engage in the community with the gifts we have. And whatever way we choose to go in our lives, God stands behind us. Whatever we decide, it is part of God’s plan because God chooses to have us decide which way we go in our lives. And sometimes, we are afraid to do the wrong thing. Or the dangerous thing. Or the less safe thing.
I encourage you to always remember that God has a plan, even though it doesn’t seem very visible sometimes. God will not let you down whichever way you choose to go. As a church community, we are ought to walk with those in discernment where their roads may go. I am grateful that you all at ERUCC walked along with me during the past few months as I am preparing to go the way into a life of service for the church and those who belong to it. And I thank every one of you for patience, guidance and support through these months. A special thanks to Barbara Daniel as she walked worked with me, and to my support committee consisting of Cliff Barr, Jo Ann Fritz, and Richard Leslie.
Food for Thought:
"If you want to make God laugh, tell God about your plans“
Pastoral Intern, Domenik Ackermann, M. Theol.
Evangelical Reformed Church, UCC
15 W Church Street, Frederick MD, 21701