Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Jonah and going overboard

There are days when I come home and think that I am extraordianrily privileged to have the job I do - even if it is tiring, demanding and even draining on occasions.
After morning prayers today members of staff joined in Bible study and Fulata Mbano Moyo led us in reading the first chapter of the book of Jonah. The focus of part of our staff meetings today was on consensus decision-making and Fulata chose the Jonah text to get us thinking about decision-making. Do we do make decisions like Jonah did by running away from the call of God? Do we draw lots like the sailors on Jonah's boat to try to divine what is going on in our lives? When we think we have discerned what is going on do we try to row against the storm or do we throw the supposed scapegoat to the stormy waves hoping to placate an angry God? Did the sailors on baord the boat reach the right consensus?
We had a fascinating discussion at the table I was at and then just before time was called our general secretary elect said "isn't this text about people taking the worng decisions? Jonah not listening to God's call, the sailors choosing human sacrifice to calm the waves?"
In the end our small group came to the consensus that even in the midst of the chaos of dreadful human crisis decision-making and scape-goating God still tries to intervene sending along saving fish, offering grace and resurrection.
Enlivening Bible study like this is a great way to start the day.


ian said...

we were on Jonah too today: Naim Ateek was presenting our Sabeel book study on the chapter of his new book (A Palestinian Christian Cry for Reconciliation) on Jonah. He sees him as the first Palestinian liberation theologian as he opens up theological discourse to say that god is a god of all people and places, not confined geographically or ethnically. Interesting stuff!

Jane said...

We have finished the staff enrichment days (SED is the new acronym -which is a bit wierd as it was the acronym of the East German Communist party.
the Jonah story is so fascinating - but is it about good or bad decision making? Jonah also doesn't seem to like god changing his mind.