La Barque de Jonas by Marc Chagall, 1977
Musée National Marc Chagall, Nice, France

We continue to follow the great parable of Jonah, with this morning’s readings asking questions about the relationship between sovereignty of God and human freedom.

Having received a call of God, Jonah flees. He runs to the nearest port, he finds a berth on a ship going to the end of his world. God does not smite Jonah, God does not coerce this called one, neither does God abandon him. But God does pursue Jonah, with a storm, to allow Jonah the opportunity to re-evaluate his life (Jonah 1:4-17). The sovereignty of God known in the gracious persistence of God, which as Christians we believe we have seen most fully in Jesus Christ who came running after us when we had turned our backs on God, and has promised to remain with us till we acknowledge our good and God (Matthew 28:18-20).

I love the way Chagall has drawn the ‘great fish’ that will save Jonah – the marine creature is the same size as the human creature! Impossible that the one will swallow the other! The artist asks me to consider the ‘impossible’ persistence of God’s concern and care for us.

If you are in the area, join us for a summer hour at the beginning of this week of grace. Have a look at the order of service – great hymns, great gospel! A nursery for infants is offered during the service, and there is free parking in the city surface lot off Queen Street just behind the church and on streets around (note that the time-of-day restrictions on streets north of Queen are not in effect on Sundays).

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