Preached on January 21, 2018 at All Saints’ Church, Brooklyn at Evening Prayer, 5pm
Third Sunday after the Epiphany, Year B
The Old Testament story this evening is a very brief snippet of the story of Jonah, or as it is popularly known, Jonah and the whale. But if you know anything about bible scholars, the kind who like to tell you that what you learned in Sunday School was wrong, then you know it wasn’t a whale, it’s really a Big Fish.
This passage is just a tiny little part of the story, and it includes what I think might be the worst sermon in all of the bible. Jonah preaches to the people of Nineveh: Jonah’s big sermon in the center of the city is not quite as eloquent as Jesus’s famous sermons on the mount or the plain, Jonah’s sermon is just, in a strangled voice: “Forty days more, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” That’s it. That’s all it takes for the whole city to be convinced, to repent, to do what God wants for them. Continue reading