This is an image from the catacombs of Callixus in Rome, from the mid second century A.D. It portrays the prophet Jonah, under a shelter of vine leaves, seemingly resting from his labours.
It is good this weekend of all weekends to rest, to rest from our labours and acknowledge God’s labours. If you are in the area, we warmly invite you to join us for a service of worship in the beautiful and historic sanctuary of St. Andrew’s. (Have a look at the order of service below for a preview. There is a nursery for infants offered during the service, and ample parking can be found in the municipal surface lot just behind the church off Queen and on surrounding streets – note that the time of day restrictions on Clergy north of Queen are not in effect on Sundays.) If you are not able to join us in person, you might consider joining in this prayer, placing our labours in the context of God’s labours …
God of wholeness,
you have created us bodily,
that our work and faith may be one.
May we offer our worship
from lives of integrity;
and maintain the fabric of this world
with hearts that are set on you,
through Jesus Christ. Amen.
Janet Morley (contemporary)
The interesting thing about the scene from the catacombs above, to be highlighted in the sermon, is that Jonah is not in fact at ease but rather is angry (Jonah 4). He is frustrated and upset over how God could be so gracious to include not only God’s particular people but all people, even the Ninevites. Perhaps our greatest challenge in life is to accept and participate in God’s work of embrace and inclusion in this world …