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Grace enough

Grace enough

Something to read

But this was very displeasing to Jonah, and he became angry. He prayed to the Lord and said, ‘O Lord! Is not this what I said while I was still in my own country? That is why I fled to Tarshish at the beginning; for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and ready to relent from punishing. And now, O Lord, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live.’

- Jonah 4:1-3.

Something to think about

I love the unflattering pictures of those we might otherwise consider ‘heroes’ of the Bible: passages that make Scriptural texts feel more like candid snapshots of real life rather than posed portraits. All the times that Jesus’ disciples fall asleep, fall out and put their foot in it encourage me that God doesn’t require me to be perfect before I’m welcome in his family!

Jonah 4 is another such example. If the book had finished after chapter three, we’d have seen a single episode of transformation for Jonah as well as Ninevah: the cowardly prophet who first ran away turning around and following God’s difficult call, with wonderful results. Instead of a happily-ever-after ending though, we’re given an insight into Jonah’s angry struggle with God’s outrageous grace. ‘It’s not fair’, rages the prophet, ‘that you should forgive these awful people.’ It’s only human to feel affronted when a lack of ‘fairness’ seems to favour those we feel don’t deserve it

But like children feeling sibling resentment, we can rest in the truth that there really is enough of God’s love to go around. There’s infinitely more grace than we could use, even if some seem to need more than their fair share!

Something to do

Do something unfair today: let someone ahead of you in a queue, let your child off the hook just this once, or give something away to a stranger.

Something to pray

God of mercy, thank you that you are abounding in limitless love. Help me to be real with you about my anger and my frustrations, and find grace enough for me. Amen.

Today’s contributor is Rev Claire Jones