Scripture: Jonah 1:1-17
Symbol we use: Fish or whale
Meditation: Why do we spend 3-4 weeks every December reviewing the history of the Israelites up to the time of Christ Jesus' birth? If His birth is what we really care about, then reading about His ancestry again, every year, becomes redundant. And why would any of the prophets be included? Sure, many of them prophesied about His coming, but they weren't His direct ancestors, and we know He has already come, so why do we keep reading about them every year?
If we are just celebrating Christ' birth at Christmas, it makes sense to focus all of our preparations on the gifts, decorations, food, and guest lists. Just as preparation for a baby's birth is different from preparation for a later birthday, the preparation of the Israelites for the coming of the Messiah would look quite different from our preparations to celebrate His 2000th+ birthday. But we aren't just remembering His first coming; we are preparing for His return (Mt 24:44). We read the warnings of the prophets because they still apply to us today. We are as wicked as the Ninevites so we need to hear his words warning us to repent. We are also called to speak the Lord's words in difficult situations in our lives, so we need to learn from Jonah's example to obey God immediately whenever He calls us.
We celebrate Christ' birthday at Christmas. We prepare for that celebration during Advent. Yet we also remember that He will come again and we take time during Advent to prepare ourselves for His return.
Jesse Tree Week 1: The Patriarchs
Sunday: Root of Jesse
Tuesday: Fall of Mankind
Jesse Tree Week 2: The Formation of a People Set Apart
Tuesday: Israelites at Mt. Sinai
Jesse Tree Week 3: The Formation of a Nation Set Apart
Sunday: King David