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2019 Lent series: Jonah

SEASON OF LENT: Jesus often spoke of Jonah as a sign and an illustration of truths. Clearly, there are important lessons for us in this story. During the weeks leading up to Easter weekend we will find preparation for our hearts and minds as we journey together with Jonah. This ‘big fish’ story is really a ‘big God’ story.  You discover truths that are not too hard to swallow. Taste and see that the Lord is good. It promises to be an eventful ride.

March 10: God Calling (Jonah 1:1-3) Jonah receives a call from the Lord sending him on a mission. When one receives the call of God, one is wise to listen. We should consider our own heart as we look at the response of Jonah. He sets out immediately on a mission – his own. What is God calling you to be and do?

Devotional thought: What does obedience to God look like for you?

March 17: God Calling – LOUDER (Jonah 1:4-17) Sometimes saying no to God does not work out so well. Jonah discovers this in the extreme. Sadly, his disobedience endangered others until he confessed and took remedial action. Consider the response to God of the other’s around Jonah. There are many lessons from this text.

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Devotional thought: When has someone outside the faith shown more faith than you?

March 24: Jonah Calling (Jonah 2) Ironic is it not? Even when we so reluctantly listen to God, he is at the ready to listen to us. That is grace. Jonah finds himself in a tight spot and repents before God. Jonah is moved to prayer and obedience by his experience of God’s love. Let us likewise be moved as we approach the cross and resurrection of Christ.

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Devotional thought: Jesus spoke of this event as a sign. What is it a sign of?  (Luke 11:29; Matthew 12:38-41; 16:4)

March 31: Mission Success (Jonah 3) Jonah was given, mission impossible. He was to speak a message of judgement against a city with a reputation for gratuitous violence and corruption. It could have gone very badly for him. In a display of the gospel’s power, the people repent. What might such obedience look like today? 

Devotional thought: Have you been surprised by the repentance of someone who had seemed so far from God?

April 7: You’re Too Kind (Jonah 4:1-3) Jonah declares the grace and compassion of God to the Ninivites, and saves a city. Strangely, he is not very happy about it. As we move close to the heart of God revealed in the death and resurrection of Christ, we must come to grips with the realities of our own heart. 

Devotional thought: Is there a quality in God’s character that troubles you? Does that reveal something about you?

April 14 (Palm Sunday) Branches (Jonah 4:4-11) We remember the coming of Jesus into Jerusalem and the people waving palm branches in praise. While some were praising Jesus, others were complaining. The story of Jonah brings us to another story of branches and the revealed heart of God and his people.

Devotional thought: Can you identify with Jonah at all in this story?

Friday April 19, 10:30 am: Good Friday – We will be hosting this joint service with our area churches (Mimico Presbyterian, Mimico United and Cornerstone Christian Fellowship). The service will be prepared by Mimico United Church. This community event will bring us to the cross of Christ where we will reflect on the significance of his death.

April 21: Easter Sunday – HE IS RISEN! (He is risen indeed!) We remember and celebrate the most transformative event of history. The Passion story of Christ is a love story. It is the story of God sending his One and Only Son – the Holy Lamb of God – to redeem all of humanity in a sacrificial act of love so that we might be eternally united with the Creator of the universe. We testify to the transformative love and power of the Risen Lord, still changing lives. Hallelujah! Together we celebrate in word and song.