Lent Reflection: Third week in Lent

Jonah 3:1-10

When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction he had threatened. (Jonah 3:10)

We all live on the borderland of the supernatural. Outside our front door, across the street, in the next cubicle lies a risky adventure of hope and love. For Jonah Tarshish was a dream, a goal, a vision, an ambition. Nineveh, on the other hand, is the neighbor whose kid taught your kid the ‘word’ you never wanted them to hear, or the man up the street who just filed for workman’s comp., or the woman down the street whose stroke left her shuffling to the mailbox. Ninevah is full of people you don’t particularly want to spend the rest of your life around. It locates and defines the task and exposes well-formed prejudices.

Perhaps you, like me, have a heart that is sometimes weary, sometimes cynical, sometimes mercenary. If we really take an honest inventory of ourselves we would find that we are of two minds. We experience disgust and outrage at the failings of others. Though, if we were honest, know that the “emperor has no clothes.” We are burdened by our own wrongdoings tempted to cover-up and run from God. However, the Ninevehites responded to Jonah’s preaching. They understood God’s nature and threw themselves on his mercy. And the dirt that Jonah once tread upon became God’s treasured possession. What relief they must have felt. This Lenten season think about the guilt you carry and the secrets you keep and then take time to meditate on how the cross covers, heals, and frees you.

God of Mercy, help us to be a people who reflect Your grace in response to one another’s downfalls. May we confess all those things that are contrary to who you want us to be. Your grace covers all our sin. Amen.

– Pastor Brett Hartman



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