Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
FAST OF NINEVEHJONAH 1:1-17
VS12: I KNOW THAT THIS IS MY FAULT THAT THIS GRAET STORM HAS COME UPON YOU “
The fasting and repentance of the people of Nineveh is an eye-opening incident in the Bible that can be applied to the present-day world that is indulged in sin, turned away from God and immersed in activities that are totally against God. The church calendar celebrates this as a three-day lent which is observed by many denominations. But since because they repented God forgave the Ninevites, wiped away their sin and impending judgement on them. The incident starts with Jonah’s disobedience and running away from God. This predicament of Jonah can be compared to the present-day generation that are rebellious in nature and turning their back. Our God is a merciful God, and he is waiting every day as the father waiting for the prodigal son. We read in the scriptures that when he regained his senses the prodigal son walked back to his fathers’ house realizing his folly in life. 2 Duet 7:14says If we humble ourselves and pray and seek His face and turn away from our wicked ways God will hear from heaven and will forgive our sins and heal the nation.
The human nature is prone to sin and forgiveness is a divine attribute that God only can give. Reconciliation and forgiveness are important aspects in the times of lent. Through fasting and prayer, we express our penitence and absolute sincere confession of our sins. God will not hear any prayers if we simply utter few words without a true repentance. True repentance or turning back to a new creation is a lifelong commitment to lead a life that is against the ungodly living style and following the way of the cross in every moment of one’s life.
Here in today’s portion for devotion we see God calling Jonah to do a difficult and intimidating mission, He commanded Jonah to go the great city of Nineveh in Assyria and preach against its sinful nature. Instead, Jonah boarded a ship heading in the opposite direction. God caused a powerful storm and brought a great fish to thwart Jonah’s rebellion. We see Jonah crying out to the Lord and his prayer was answered. Later we see Jonah obeys God and going to Nineveh.
God is free to show mercy to any person or any nation and at any time that He wills, if we are ready and willing to turn to Him. He is ready to listen our cries and extend forgiveness and heal the land. When our life gets tossed out in the troubled waves of the nature, let us humble ourselves and turn to God in fasting and prayer. Let our fast and lent observations be a blessing to all as we commit to observe them with its true meaning. Amen
Lord we seek your forgiveness and mercy. We accept that we are rebellious and sinned against you. As you showed compassion to the thief on the cross and the sinful woman have pity on us and save us. Amen
Thought for the Day
“When my life was ebbing away, I remembered you God and my prayer rose to you. To your Holy temple “
Dr Thomas K Jose
The Mar Thoma Church Staten Island.