Reading: Jonah 3 verse 10 – 11 verse 4
Thought: ‘It’s not fair’. I wonder have you ever said it or even just thought it because, well, really felt it? I know I have and I’m pretty sure I’m not alone. Someone has got something you wanted and you’ve missed out. Or, you feel that your presents weren’t as good as the ones someone else got. Whatever the cause, I think we’ve all been there at one time or another.
Feeling unfairly treated can lead us to think – and maybe even say – very unpleasant things. If we can’t get the good stuff, why should anyone else? Well, that’s just how Jonah felt when God asked him to go to Nineveh. ‘Eh, you want me to go where, God? To those people? I don’t think so. They’re awful. They don’t deserve to hear about you. Why should they be shown mercy, come on God. I’m not going. And that’s it.’
But, we know what happened next and we also know that God showed Jonah that He loved those people he created, just as much as those who had done less bad things. He may not have liked what they did, but He loved them and He wanted to show them mercy.
When God sent Jesus as a gift to the world, He knew that not everyone would want to accept that gift but, He wanted everyone to have the opportunity to share in His gift of love and grace. Why? Because He loves us all. We all fall far short of God’s perfect standards but, in Jesus He offered us His precious Son so that we would know His saving power, when Jesus would take our place, as the sacrifice for all the wrongs we had done – not His. What a different celebration both Christmas and Easter would be if Jesus had taken the attitude, ‘It’s not fair.’
In the run up to Christmas and, even when the day arrives, let’s not forget the lesson we learn from Jonah; in those moments when we may feel that ‘It’s not fair,’ remember that if Jesus had taken the world’s standard of ‘fair’ to be His motivation, we wouldn’t have reason to know joy and hope and to celebrate those blessings as we think of the undeserved gift that God gave us.
Carol of the Day: When Love Came Down
Advent Activity: Tree Hangers
Materials Needed: Branch slices or cardboard circles. Pens / paint / Pyrography tool – whatever you have. Drill or alternative tool for drilling wee holes and finaally, something to hang them up with. We used little branch slices and decorated those, though, circles of card would work just as well. We got a few images for templates/ ideas and created simple Christmas scenes/ symbols/ words, ready to hang. Pens or paints could be used, though we had a go with a burning tool as well. Then, wee holes drilled, ready to thread and hang!