Seven months ago I started reading the short 4 chapter bible story of Jonah. I started reading it just as part of my devotions and because I thought it would be good to read through an old testament prophet – and Jonah felt like one of the easiest stories to engage with! I expected just to read through the story a couple times, be a little bit more familiar with the story than before, and then to be able to move on fairly soon.
Something surprising happened.
Seven months later and I’ve struggled to let go of the book. It has arrested me. Got my attention. And challenged me again and again in deep and significant ways. Not only has the vivid and crazy story of Jonah really come to life to me, but I also feel like it’s felt so relevant and applicable to me and my daily life, in London in 2017/8.
Of course, it’s not purely the literary story of Jonah that’s challenging and changing my life. It’s Jesus using this story, speaking through this story to me. He’s leaning in close, whispering, asking big hard questions, shaping me and forming me into his likeness.
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17
In April we’re launching a 6 week sermon series going through the story of Jonah for the KingsGate Kingston AM community. As the KingsGate Kingston eldership team, we’re really inviting to engage with this bizarre, strange bible story with faith and expectation, believing that God might speak and challenge and form your character further, equipping you for life as a follower of Jesus.
“What can I do to engage with this sermon series?”
- Read the story of Jonah – it’s only 4 chapters! Read it through a few times and prayerfully consider what God might be saying to you.
- Track with us together in the Sunday morning gatherings.
- We’ll be posting weekly blogs with questions and thoughts for discussion in the Connect Groups.
- It won’t be for everyone, but if you’re the type of person that wants further reading, here’s a great commentary: The Message of Jonah by Rosemary Nixon
I hope and pray that you find engaging with the bible in this way at this time encouraging and life giving, perhaps in a surprising way!