Jonah had gone out and sat down at a place east of the city. There he made himself a shelter, sat in its shade and waited to see what would happen to the city. Then the Lord God provided a leafy plantand made it grow up over Jonah to give shade for his head to ease his discomfort, and Jonah was very happy about the plant. Jonah 4:5-6 (NIV).
It’s the day after Easter. In our family, yesterday was full of celebration, egg hunts, great food, and strong emotion. Church was celebratory and inviting, and fun. We should look forward to church, enjoy being there, right? It’s not that Sunday worship is supposed to be fun and games, but who in their right mind actually thinks it should be a dirge, either? Especially on the day when we celebrate Jesus walking out of His tomb, alive and kicking. What’s the point of Easter if we don’t celebrate in joy?
Then, last night, we watched the season premiere of “The Chosen.” If you haven’t watched this show, go do it soon. It’s the story of Jesus, told in a fresh way that resonates right now. It’s an interpretation of the Gospels that is true to them without being preachy or boring. And, it is a new take on Jesus as God and man together that I wish more of our churches could grasp and present. Joy with gravity; serious topics with love and peace; something very old but very new as well.
Indeed, going forward from this Easter, perhaps Jesus is calling us to present Him in our lives in a new way. Part of the meaning of Easter is that we aren’t supposed sulk like Jonah, even though it seems we do just that. We blame God when we don’t get our way; we hold onto anger. Jesus put all that behind us when He walked out of that tomb. He’s given us a new day and a fresh chance, an unwritten opportunity to do better in how we live for Him. Not unto us but because of Him.
God gives us good shelter; in fact, He gives us everything. Jonah was thankful for the shelter, even while he sat under it all pissed off at God. He was celebrating what he didn’t deserve, and Jesus hadn’t even been born yet. So, now what? How about thanking Jesus for what He gives us by using it for His work today. How about some joy? I’m so thankful for a restful, fun Easter, and for enriching entertainment, and for this place to share His words on my heart. And for shelter. And for you. Now, let’s get moving. We’ve sat in the shade long enough, and there’s joyous work to be done.
For further reading: Jonah 4:7
Risen Savior, thank You for all You give, for shelter, for holidays, for resurrection.
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