Psalm: 93, 98
Old Testament: Jonah 2:1-9
New Testament: Acts 2:14, 22-32

You cast me into the deep,
into the heart of the seas,
and the flood surrounded me;
all your waves and your billows
passed over me.
Then I said, “I am driven away
from your sight;
how* shall I look again
upon your holy temple?” (Jonah 2:3-4)

Ah! the prayer of Jonah or as I like to refer to it….the “OH CRAP!” prayer. 🙂

While none of us have been inside the belly of a great fish, I think many of us *have* had the experience of being desperate. At one time or another, I think we have all thrown up a prayer in a last-ditch effort to get us out of a bad situation.

Jonah is an interesting character. While some of the other prophets in the OT are not exactly thrilled with the vocation that God has chosen for them…Jonah is the only one who directly opposes God. He quite literally runs the other way and gets the hell out of Dodge.

He does not want to preach repentance in Nineveh. He doesn’t think they are worthy of it. More than that, there was a pretty good chance that Jonah would get killed.

After being thrown overboard on his way to Tarshish…I imagine Jonah’s expression to be something like the cartoon pictured above.

He must have been shocked to realize, a) he was still alive, and b) there was no real escape in sight :P.

The end of Jonah’s prayer almost smacks of a bargain:

But I with the voice of thanksgiving
will sacrifice to you;
what I have vowed I will pay.
Deliverance belongs to the Lord! (Jonah 2:9)

In today’s readings, I take comfort in the fact that Jonah was not perfect. Jonah resisted the will of God and ran the other way. And yet, God saved him anyway…..and even through sinners like me, his will might be done. Alleluia! +