On the Plains of Moab Blog
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February 19, 2013, 8:30 AM

Further Thoughts on Sunday

As I left church on Sunday, there was this thought in my head that just perhaps I had footnoted something that should have been in the main body of the sermon.  As you may remember, I closed the sermon with two thoughts on God's offer of Jonah's second commission to Nineveh.  His do-over!  The theme for Sunday was New Life.  Jonah's second chance was, to me, a great parallel of what God does with us when he saves us and re-commissions us, so to speak.

My first thought was, "Wow, God is so very gracious to give us second chances when we don't particularly deserve them."  And then, I started thinking about the way of the world.  Particularly as we witness it in the news with celebrities and especially politicians.  Man, one slip up, and they are toast!  Discredited, shamed, kicked out of the limelight and sent into an embarrassing exile.  The amazing thing about this thought, at least to me was, "And the world thinks that the Church is judgmental?!"  Please.  Spare me!

Of course, the world does that with Christians who drop the ball as well.  When a Christian leader really blows it big, somehow, the world thinks that Christianity is discredited and phony -- at the very least, that the one who blew it is phony!  In reality, the world just demonstrates its own spectacular failure to comprehend the message of the Gospel!  In my mind, epic personal fails drive home our need for God's grace and mercy.  They highlight why God sent his Son to us in the first place.

The second thought was, in my mind, worth the price of admission.  When you think about it, every time we run through the part of our liturgy where we are called to confession; pray together the prayer of confession and then hear the words of forgiveness -- in a sense, we are right there in Joppa being called once again to go to Nineveh.  But, in our case, we are standing at the starting line to the week.  Being called once again to go and be faithful disciples in the world.  I can imagine that many of us had Jonah-like fails during the week.  But, on the dry land of the Lord's Day, you hear, "Forgiven!"  "Go!"  New life! 

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