(From the September 2019 Prescot Parish Magazine)
The Reverend Captain Peter Cowley writes:
The summer has been its usual mixed bunch of extreme heat one day to deluge of rain and floods! You can never trust the weather to behave! Global warming has been mentioned in the many discussions on TV and radio programmes, it is strange that discussions and analysis seem to take over the actual reporting of news stories. In the bible there are many stories about the weather: floods, fire and earthquakes are in there.
This summer the Bishop of Liverpool has been encouraging those who follow the Rule of Life to read and study the book of Jonah. Jonah was a prophet a minor one, but still a prophet! He actually lived about five miles south of Nazareth at a village called Gath-hepher in Lower Galilee and was apparently something to do with wine pressing!
Jonah is a good person to study – the book is only four chapters and is a good story. Jonah is called to be a prophet but not to Israel or Judah as all the other prophets have been. He was called to go to Nineveh the capital of the old Assyria empire who had invaded Israel and taken many away to exile. Jonah rebelled and caught a ship in the opposite direction to Tarshish. He was shipwrecked and eaten by a Big Fish (not a whale). He was in the belly and eventually after three days was spat out near to Nineveh and is told again by God to go to call the people to repent their evil way, or else. He went this time and you should read the story to find out what happened, it has a twist!
But for you and me today the world may seem upside down and we may feel we have no way out, what with politics, Brexit and the weather we need, like Jonah, to be able to do as God asks. For us to tell the good news of peace on earth and the love of God in Christ for all people!
It may not be what you, or I, want to do but it is what we have been called to do and to be the Body of Christ on earth. Or will you end up in a metaphorical big fish or your head in the sand. You choose.
Happy Summer Holidays to you all!