The story of the good Samaritan is the Gospel reading today from Luke 10. The Samaritans were hated by the Jews. They couldn’t possibly have a decent bone in their bodies. Hearing that a Samaritan could actually be one’s neighbor probably took Jesus’ listeners aback. This story is a great lesson for us not to dehumanize entire peoples.
The first reading today is the beginning of the book of Jonah. This is a story that many of us remember from our childhood. You know – Jonah gets swallowed by a whale. But that’s probably all that many know about the story. There are many great lessons to be learned from the story of Jonah. Jonah was told by God to go to Nineveh and preach an unpopular message. So what did Jonah do? He ran! He went in the opposite direction that God told him to go. See what happens to him from there in today’s reading.
God was likely calling Jonah out of his comfort zone. After all, telling people that they are doing something wrong and that God is not pleased is not an easy task. Obviously Jonah wanted no part of it. Perhaps you’ve felt an uncomfortable call from God in your life. Maybe you even ran the other way. But the story of Jonah shows that God is a persistent God. Sometimes He will go to some extreme measures to put us where we need to be. Who knew that a big fish would be God’s taxi? Let’s be open to winding up wherever God wants to send us today.
Father, forgive us for the times we run from you. Help us to be open to go where you want us to go, say what you want us to say and do what you want us to do. Amen.
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