March 13, 2019
In today’s reading, the Lord bid Jonah to go to Ninevah and announce his message, ‘Forty days more and Ninevah shall be destroyed.’
On hearing this, all of the people of Ninevah (as well as their king), put on sackcloth, fasted and repented of their evil ways – believing that God might forgive them. In his gracious and merciful way, God DID forgive them.
When I was young, we were encouraged to fast - giving up something for Lent that was a sacrifice. In my case, it was sweets. Not only did I have a sweet tooth, my birthday and Valentine’s Day usually fell during the Lenten season. This was the ultimate sacrifice in my eyes.
As I grew older, it was brought to my attention that sacrificing something was not nearly as important as giving something of myself. The older that I get (and the more people that have been lost), the more important this seems. I have become more involved in the church and I am pursuing more volunteer opportunities. I spend a lot of time with my grandkids and other younger people – trying to encourage them to look at their surroundings and embrace life, education and helping others. I also take more time to talk to God each day – even if just to thank him daily for my life.
With all of the unrest in the world at this time, I am hoping that I might make a difference in someone’s life. If I can encourage just one person to take time to ‘smell the roses’, I will be content. If we can encourage others to care about and help each other, repenting of their evil ways, the world will be a better place for future generations.
St. Anthony Parishioner (Minister of Holy Communion to the Home Bound)