Today’s reading is from Jonah 3:1-10. I love the story of Jonah, the rebellious prophet, the godly man who didn’t really like the way God acted towards other people! Jonah was happy to receive God’s mercy, forgiveness and compassion for himself, but was unwilling to go to the people of Nineveh, because he didn’t feel they were worthy of God’s mercy, forgiveness and compassion. He ended up learning a lesson the hard way (from inside the belly of a great fish), because God is not one to show favouritism. All people can receive His mercy and grace; the message to repent which Jonah carried brought about repentance in the Ninevites and God was merciful to them.

It can be sobering to realise that Christians can become comfortable in their relationship with God and then can look down on others as being unworthy of having the same opportunity to know God. The truth is that no one is worthy of a relationship with God; we all receive the free gift of salvation in exactly the same way, by trusting in the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Sharing the Easter story is important because all of us need to have the opportunity to repent, to turn back to God. For those who have received this free gift, we must learn, like Jonah, to be willing to pass it on.