Epiphany 3: it ain’t about me

I’m working on my sermon for this weekend, or I was, and I got stuck, as happens sometimes. I don’t like to talk about process when I preach; I think that’s rude and gross, with VERY few exceptions. I’m preaching on the story of Jonah, and while it’s a good story, I didn’t really get it until my husband said in a fantastically Lutheran way, “well, who is it good news for?”

Well, it’s good news for the people of Nineveh, the city that Jonah preaches to and that God does not destroy.

Jonah? He’s kind of extraneous.

Preachers know it ain’t about us. Intellectually. Emotionally, we believe that our message is going to make a difference in someone’s life that very day! And despite our intellects, most of us know that it was God doing that work in a person, and not us.

But still. Jonah wasn’t happy when God changed Her mind (I think of God as such a mama in this story…tough, but loving her kids so much!). I think he thought it was all about him, and he’d get to say, “I was right.”

I love being right more than most people. I’ve been proved right on some predictions recently, and ooooh, it feels great! But I was reminded by this story that what it’s about is people changing, hearing the good news, and remembering that it’s all due to the God of second chances.

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