Search

Reading the Bible Day 133 - 134

Hi friends! Sorry for the weekend being slow again. I had a friend over this weekend whom I hadn't seen in awhile and wasn't able to work on editing like I had hoped to do. So, thank you for your patience as I get these to you a day late. In both days we cover an entire book of the Bible which is always really fun. Fret not, both are very short. Obadiah is literally a single chapter and Jonah is only 4 chapters and a really fun read. I believe all together I read both of these in less than 15 minutes. As per usual I'm going to link both of the overview videos from Bible Project up top and I'll share my thoughts down below.




Scripture to Read


Day 133


Obadiah

Psalm 128


Day 134


Jonah

Psalm 129


Audio Bible


Day 133



Day 134



Questions to Consider

  1. What does this teach me about God?

  2. What does this teach me about humanity?

  3. How does the story of Jonah speak to me differently reading it this time?

- My Thoughts -

Most of my thoughts are going to focus on Jonah today. I enjoyed Obadiah, but I found it be very similar to the other prophets we've already ready spelling doom for the people of Israel...also is talking about the silliness of Jonah ever not fun? Of course not!


Jonah is a neat book. I don't necessarily believe that the story is "True" in the factual sense but I do believe it merits truth, and a truth that I find compelling for today. My thoughts of Jonah are in reference to the people who participated in the capital insurrection earlier this month. The insurrection was planned on Parler, a website and app that claims to be "free speech" and has been home to many of the alt-right after Twitter and Facebook started to filter out posts that contained false information or were considered dangerous. After the events of January 6th Parler was nuked off the face of the internet. While I certainly agree this was the right decision, I do struggle with the incredible power that big tech companies have to be able to decide what is possible. While the anti-intellectualism of fascism scares the living daylights out of me, the power of corporate technology is equally as scary.


Anyways, Parler was built with a limited budget which means that it's security wasn't just lacking, it wasn't secure AT ALL. After the events of January 6th someone was able to download ALL of the information EVER hosted to Parler - 52tb in all. They then turned this information over to the government so that the FBI, CIA, and other national security forces could hunt down every single person involved. We've begun to see the first wave of arrests this week. In the imagery of Jonah, the storm was brewing and those aboard the ship were terrified.


So what does this have to do with Jonah? Well, when I first heard that the information was secured and turned over I was laughing for hours on end with vindictive joy. Like Jonah, I "hated" the people of Ninevah and wanted them to suffer. I was glad to know that justice was going to happen to the people involved and that the irony of the free speech website was the reason they would get caught. But then I got into a conversation with a few pastor friends who said the more they read interviews from people being arrested they began to feel heartbroken for them. The people of QAnon are hurting right now. Their undying belief in the world that Trump had created for them came crashing down on their heads. The flood gates of fear of what will happen under a Biden administration had led to impulsive and destructive behavior. Not that I condone their actions, but who among us has not done or said something impulsive under distress? Many people involved in the riots are small business owners, ex-military, and people from rural parts of the country who devoutly believed they were doing the right thing. Ninevah was similar to this. They were living a life of sin but upon hearing from God they came to their senses. God spared them and all life was considered sacred that day.


Jonah wasn't having it. Jonah wanted the people to suffer for their errors. He pouted and even demanded that God kill him if God won't kill them. Jonah, like me, wasn't rooted in justice, he (I) was rooted in retribution. An eye for an eye, so to speak. Jonah, and myself, and many others in this country were advocating for something that Jesus would not say amen to. (Yes, that's still very hard for me to admit) I still want justice for what happened that day, but I don't want these hurting, scared, and lost people to suffer. I want them to know that God loves them, and I think the healing of this country begins when we as collective American's love our enemies as our neighbors. We must provided support, therapy, and space for the members of QAnon to heal for who knows even they might tear their clothing in mourning before God.


Jonah speaks to me strongly today. It's a message of justice, not retribution, and that's a message for both the left and the right. May it be so, amen and amen.


Prayer


Today's prayer is from hymn 133 in the United Methodist Hymnal, Leaning on the Everlasting Arms


1. What a fellowship, what a joy divine,

leaning on the everlasting arms;

what a blessedness, what a peace is mine,

leaning on the everlasting arms.


Refrain:

Leaning, leaning,

safe and secure from all alarms;

leaning, leaning,

leaning on the everlasting arms.


2. O how sweet to walk in this pilgrim way,

leaning on the everlasting arms;

O how bright the path grows from day to day,

leaning on the everlasting arms.

(Refrain)


3. What have I to dread, what have I to fear,

leaning on the everlasting arms?

I have blessed peace with my Lord so near,

leaning on the everlasting arms.

(Refrain)

39 views1 comment

Recent Posts

See All
United Methodist Church of Chagrin Falls

440-247-5848

info@chagrinfallsumc.org

20 S. Franklin St. 

Chagrin Falls, Ohio, 44022

  • White Facebook Icon
  • White Instagram Icon
  • YouTube - White Circle