Wednesday of the First Week in Lent
How often in making a decision do we seek a sign? Discerning a choice, especially between two seemingly good things, can be difficult. Sometimes we get a push toward the choice by the word of a friend, or a verse of Scripture that keeps appearing in our prayer. At other times we seek a sign, and fail to recognize the one that we have been given.
Jonah had received his sign, his calling and initially choose to go the other way. What is clear from our reading today is that God is persistent, and God’s message is enduring. In the time of Nineveh the message of repentance was of grave importance for the people’s survival. Jonah’s call for repentance is echoed in today’s gospel as Jesus names his generation as an evil generation. We know that this same evil still ripples through humanity to our day.
The church is now the herald of the call to repentance in our day. The church utilizes this Lenten season to remind all of us that there is something greater than Jonah, us and the church. The church proclaims the gospel so that all will know that Jesus is the sign of salvation. Jesus is the one to whom we must turn.
It is not enough to say amen to turning away from sin and being faithful to the gospel. We must be like the king at the time of Jonah. He heard the call to repentance, heeded the call and then challenged everyone else to do the same. We too are called to have open hearts and minds so that we heed the call for repentance. We must lead others to turn away from sin and to being peacemakers
Lord, help us to slow down during this Lenten season, call us to a new level of awareness of all of the ways you are working in our lives to create clean hearts; so that we will reflect You who lives and reigns, one God forever and ever. Amen!
-Deacon Michael Montgomery