Prayer: Lord, thanks for being with me especially when I am scared. Amen.
Reading: Jonah 2:1-10 (Click to read text)
Stop and GROW: After reading the text, discuss/ponder the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Book of Faith questions, which are part of Camp Mount Luther's GROW Time with campers.
QUESTION 1: What scares, confuses, challenges, or doesn’t make sense to me in this text?
QUESTION 2: What delights me in this text or is my favorite part of the story?
QUESTION 3: What stories or memories does this text stir in me?
QUESTION 4: What is God up to in this text?
Reflection: We continue today looking at Camp Mount Luther’s summer’s curriculum, “La Frontera.” Today we conclude our work with Day 4, “Jesus meets us where we are because he loves us.” Today’s text is an alternate story for the day.
She couldn’t breathe. Drawing air into her lungs seemed impossible. She tells me that she just wanted to die. She confessed that she was frightened and later felt guilty about being scared.
I thought about her while reading this great Psalm of Thanksgiving in the Book of Jonah. Jonah utters it from the belly of the great fish. Death seemed just as certain to him as it did to my gasping parishioner. Cast into the sea. Surrounded by waves. Driven away from God’s sight. His life was ebbing away. He cried out to God. Our reading ends, “Deliverance belongs to the Lord. Then the Lord spoke to the fish, and it spewed Jonah out upon the dry land.”
We believe that death brings us deliverance. We end up in a safe place. But the passage into that safe place is scary. That’s what my parishioner and I talked about. Dying is scary.
But here’s the deal: Hang on! The resurrected Jesus meets us wherever we are. Even, and especially, in death. --Jim Bricker
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