And the people of Nineveh believed God; they proclaimed a fast, and everyone, great and small, put on sackcloth. (Jonah 3:5)
Jonah, having been called by God – not once but twice – to go to Nineveh to call the Assyrian capital to repentance, reluctantly does so only after his encounter with the belly of a giant fish. For those familiar with the story of Jonah, you’ll recognize that this is the final outcome for the city of Nineveh – a complete and total turnaround. “Everyone, great and small” turns away from their former lives and toward the God of heaven and earth. But Jonah is none too happy with this. He mopes about, he sulks, he complains that God is too loving and accepting.
So first, thanks be to God that God is so loving and accepting that there is no one outside the bounds of divine steadfast love. And second, might we then act like God and not like Jonah – welcoming anyone and everyone with the same steadfast love? – rc