FAST OF NINAVEH BEGINS—REPENTANCE
V 12 He said to them, “Pick me up and hurl me into the sea; then the sea will quiet down for you, for I know it is because of me that this great tempest has come upon you.”
One of my friends was addicted to drinking. One day we persuade him to attend a revival prayer meeting. Prayer meeting last 5 days and my friend came back with promise not to drink again. But his promise last only a few days. After few more days we see him the old way, he said he cannot control himself.
St. Luke 9:62 says true repentance does not regret in doing away with old life style, but false repentance does. Constant struggle is expected in the life of a believer (Gal: 5:17). Do not forget even Jesus was tempted (even after his fasting prayer for 40 days).
God loves the company of repenting sinners who select righteousness, God’s ways, rejecting evil, non-godly ways. (Luke: 15:7)
In this story two sets of people are repenting. First the people of Nineveh. In the second set only one person Jonah, the prophet of God. Repentance has two parts, first admit the guilt, the wrong thing one is doing. In verse 12 Jonah is saying throw me to the rough sea, because I am the reason for the sea to be tempestuous. So Jonah is doing the first part of the repentance. This is the tough part in real confession. Confession to God is very important inside or outside church setting. In the church, Confession/Repentance is a sacrament which everyone must participate before participate in the sacrament ‘Qurbana’. Repenting implies that one is not to do the old wrong things again. Practically this is what it differentiate a real confession from a false confession. Second part of confession is requesting God almighty to pardon the wrong that one did (sin). God pardon the sins of a repenting sinner (Jeremiah 33:8). Once God pardon our sins we have abundant life in God (Psalm 103:8-12).
O Lord our Heavenly Father, forgive our wrong doings and take us back as a prodigal son, in the name of your son Jesus Christ Amen.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
The wonderful news is that our Lord is a God of mercy, and He responds to repentance.
Dr. Kochumman Geevarghese
St. Thomas MTC, Yonkers, NY.
Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church