We begin the journey and one of the passages from the Old Testament today is from the Book of Jonah.
Jonah has been sent to proclaim God’s word to Nineveh. He fights it, then ends up going as possibly the most reluctant missionary in the history of the Kingdom of God. He is upset when Nineveh repents.
He is angered when the plant God provided for shade shrivels up.
But God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?”
“It is,” he said. “And I’m so angry I wish I were dead.” (Jonah 4:9)
This is a tough and appropriate passage to begin the journey of Lent. We deal with things that are NOT of the Kingdom of God in Lent if we are truly listening. God needs to confront us on issues of anger.
And issues of prejudice. Jonah wasn’t happy because the enemy was being shown mercy by God. “The other” was getting God’s favor! How dare God do that!
Lent is a time to deal with the ugliness in our lives.We find the journey isn’t about us. It’s about our Savior and his work in us. Our comfort needs to be attacked. And we need to not throw a temper tantrum.
We enter with repentance. We enter with an open heart and ears ready to hear. Let us enter Lent with hearts ready to be examined… and then allow the Spirit to pour new life into us.
Enter the journey.