Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Who's your Ninevehite?

Happy New Year Friends.

It's been a wild and wonderful holiday season for the Theules and we we're still trying to find our new year groove. But it's been too long . . .

Sunday we kicked off the New Year with the start of a new teaching series at Grace entited "The Gospel according to Jonah." 4 chapters in 4 weeks. I explained that my passion to teach the book of Jonah is rooted in 3 realizations. . .

  1. First, it's become apparent to me that we have more and more folks among us who don’t know the stories the Bible and especially not the Big Story of the Bible. I love it that these folks are among us and I hope that more and more show up. But what that means is that we've got to tell the story.

  2. Second, I’ve been wanting to do more in the Old Testament in the coming years than we’ve done over the last 4 years. Many of us don’t know what to do with the mass of pages at the front of our Bibles. There’s a continuity of the Gospel the Scriptures that many of us don’t understand. I'm eager to show that continuity.

  3. Third, I think that Jonah provides an excellent way for us to begin the New Year. Jonah is about the relationship between God, the Church and the World. Jonah reminds us what God is doing the World and where we fit in to what God is doing in the World.
I struggled with whether to begin on New Years Eve Sunday with so many away and college students still not returned from Christmas break, but I decided for other reasons to jump in. So if you missed last Sunday, can I beg you to listen before next Sunday? This series, unlike others, is going to be more tightly bound together with each week building on and depending on the ones before it.

On New Years Eve, I was hanging out with a few church families and someone was sharing about their struggle with their sister, who is so different and opposite from them. I said, "She's your Ninevehite." This woman replied, "You're right. I want to withdraw and separate, but I need to run toward and serve."

So who is/are the Ninevehite/s in your world? Chances are there some individuals who you really struggle with. . . . your liberal brother, your rebellious child, your overbearing boss, etc, etc, etc. Chances are there are whole groups of people you dislike (hate?) and want to run away from instead of toward . .. homeless people, homosexuals, those of a different political persuasion, etc, etc, etc.

So who is/are the Ninevehites in your world? How do you become a "sign of the Gospel" to them? How do you serve them instead of separate from them?

I can't remember the last time a text has grabbed me like the book of Jonah. I hope it grabs some of you as well.

1 comment:

Josh said...

I am totally excited about learning form the old testiment. I have friends that avoid it becasue they feel it is mostly judgement - but there is so much that points forward towards Christ!