Monday, September 25, 2017

Improv Jonah

Yesterday at our interactive service, we approached the story of Jonah from 3 perspectives: Jonah's, God's, and the Ninevites'. I was in the Ninevite group--this is us, having moved away from the refreshment table which we used to signify our sinful patterns.   Here we are in our sackcloth and mourning faces, hoping to change God's mind and avoid destruction:

The Jonah group told the story of Jonah from Jonah's perspective.  I particularly liked the high school student who played the shrub who sheltered Jonah and then died.

The God group pondered Jonah and his approach to life in much the way a parent of an adolescent child would wonder why the teenager was making the life choices that the teenager did.

I liked this approach to the story of Jonah--it helps us wrestle with the ancient texts in a very different way.  I began the session rather grumpy--we had had a morning of trying to clean up after a roof leak, and as we were doing that, a huge chunk of a tree fell on the car and motorcycle in the driveway.  I was not in the mood for a vengeful God whose mind can be changed or a prophet who doesn't want to be bothered to do his job.

An interval of improv snapped me right out of my mood.  We had a good morning at church across all of the services, as we pondered the modern message of Jonah for our fractured time.  Why is it so hard for us to participate in God's vision of a redeemed world?  Why are we so likely to sit in a snit when the "wrong" people are saved?

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