Everyone has the opportunity to choose being in a forgiving, loving relationship with God. Today is National HIV & Aids testing day. People around the world are supporting being tested for HIV and Aids. As I began to prepare for my test today, I began to think about what this day means for many; I began to think about how the CHURCH has traditionally responded to the issues surrounding HIV & Aids.The Church has been hesitant to witness in a loving and invitational way to those effected by HIV & Aids. The CHURCH has been more like Jonah as it pertains to his opinion of the Ninevehites, wanting to accuse them of sinful behavior and write them off as being punished for their actions. But we have much to learn about God's amazing grace in the text today. Despite Jonah's/The Church's hesitancy- God say's everyone has the opportunity to accept God's love and grace, the Ninevehites along as those effected by HIV & Aids all are welcome to experience God's love, redemption and acceptance in the body of Christ. Our job is like that of Jonah to go tell the people about God's offer to come and join the body of Christ. Let's look at the text!
Jonah Goes to Nineveh1 Then the word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time: 2 “Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you.”
3 Jonah obeyed the word of the LORD and went to Nineveh. Now Nineveh was a very large city; it took three days to go through it. 4 Jonah began by going a day’s journey into the city, proclaiming, “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overthrown.” 5 The Ninevites believed God. A fast was proclaimed, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth.
6 When Jonah’s warning reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, took off his royal robes, covered himself with sackcloth and sat down in the dust. 7 This is the proclamation he issued in Nineveh:
“By the decree of the king and his nobles:
Do not let people or animals, herds or flocks, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink. 8 But let people and animals be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence. 9 Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish.”
10 When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened.