Third Sunday after Epiphany

Jonah 3.1-5, 10–If you enjoy giant fish stories, Jonah is the book for you.  Sunday’s reading is nearing the end of the story.  God sent Jonah on a mission to pronounce a judgement on Nineveh.  Jonah did not want to do this and attempted to flee.  It is in this book we learn of the giant fish that swallows Jonah up and delivers him to the shores of Ninevah.  God again tells Jonah to pronounce judgement on Ninevah.  He relents and pronounces judgement.  The king and people of Ninevah repent, and God decides not to destroy them.  What we don’t hear in today’s reading is how angry this made Jonah.  “All I have been through to pronounce judgement on the people, and now, because they repent, you show mercy.”    There are some very paradoxical issues going on here.

Psalm 62.7-14–An affirmation of the steadfast love of God.

1 Corinthians 7.29–31–Again, Paul is suggesting an end of time or at least a transformation of human reality.  Paul, as always, is encouraging the people to change and begin to look forward to God’s new creation.

Mark 1.14-20–Jesus is inviting people to join him in realizing the fullness of the Kingdom of God, “. . . come near, repent, and believe in the good news.”  In this first chapter, as people respond to Jesus’s radical invitation, we learn of the earliest disciples joining Jesus.

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