As I was studying this morning's Gospel Doctrine lesson it occurs to me that the story of Jonah's involvement with the interior anatomy of a whale is an unfortunate distraction.
For the first time in my life, I recognize that the real miracle in this story is the reprentance and conversion of an entire town of people of perceived (in the minds of the so-called faithful)hardcore sinners who were not part of the covenant church (non-members). The second misunderstood miracle is the patience that the Lord shows to a rebellious, stubborn, biased (and probably fox news watching, well intentioned, bigot of his time) member called to minister (home teach or proselyte) to persons he considered barbaric enemies. Much to Jonah's disappointment not only does the Lord love them enough to send a messenger, but when they actually do what the Lord wants them to do, he is dissapointed that they don't metaphorically burn in hell and the Lord spares them. Jonah decides to wait on the hill to wait for hellfire and brimstone, but instead he is the one the Lord both blesses, chastises and teaches by virtue of a gourd and a worm. The worm is considerably less dramatic than being swallowed by a large sea going mammal and regurgitated.
The story of Jonah is really not about miracles, it is instead about those character defining moments of learning to love (oftentimes with some serious prodding from our heavenly father) and serve others in spite of our pride, our stubborness, our ethnic, racial, political, religious or other biases, and our simple human tendancy toward rebellion in all its forms.
The prodigal blogger
3 years ago