Sermon for the Third Sunday in Epiphany

Sermons and audio

Artist s impression of Assyrian palaces from The Monuments of Nineveh by Sir Austen Henry Layard 1853This week we hear the second half of the story of Jonah – when he hears God’s call to go to Ninevah and call the people there to repentance. Jonah resisted God at first because the Ninevites were his enemies and Jonah wanted them to perish, not to repent and be saved.

It’s an extraordinary story. And it reminds us that God expects us to stay in relationship with others, even our enemies, so that they can hear a call to repentance and be restored. Because even our enemies are dear to God, even when they’re wrong. God wants reconciliation so profoundly that God is ultimately willing to suffer and die to accomplish it, even with the people who rejected God in the person of Jesus.