Sunday 22nd January (Epiphany 3B)

The word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time….
The Lectionary readings in recent weeks have emphasised the word or voice of God.
John: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Genesis: Then God said, “Let there be light’; and there was light.
Mark: And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”
1 Samuel: Now the LORD came and stood there, calling as before, “Samuel! Samuel!”

This week’s readings emphasise responses to God’s word.
The word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time… a second time…
“Get up, go to Nineveh, that great city, and proclaim to it the message that I tell you.”
Jonah found it hard to understand that God would call a second time. And if Jonah hadn’t responded, however reluctantly, the word of the LORD would have come a third time… and a fourth… and a fifth…

You participate in the life of gathered community, to some extent out of habit, to some extent out of tradition but also because word of the LORD continues to come to you. You hear afresh and respond to the call, “Follow me.”
God calls us in the spirit of the risen Christ each new day.

Ignore God’s call
and God will call again and again…
Accept God’s call
and life is tipped upside down.
Some days it’s hard to understand
that God’s word is for all;
that God cares a great deal
not just for humanity,
but for all creation;
that God’s love and mercy and compassion
are for all;
that no one is excluded
from hearing that word
from being called to speak it;
that God is passionate for the world.
We see that passion in Jesus.
It is this passionate desire
which calls out to each of us
to hear the good news of God’s realm,
to have our expectations of the world challenged,
to be turned upside down –
and transformed.
“Follow me.”
      Jeff Shrowder © 2012.      More for Epiphany 3B…