This week our women’s Bible study groups wrapped up a six session study on the book of Jonah. Over the past summer I prepared study questions and worked out a schedule for the weekly lessons. As always, God was way ahead of me.
In preparation for leading the final study, my research led me to some fascinating information. Down through the centuries, the Jewish people have celebrated a special holy day called “The Day of Atonement”. In Old Testament times, it was the one day of the year when the High Priest entered the Holy of Holies and offered a sacrifice for the sins of the people. In our day, the Jewish people gather for special services, in which they read together, in unison, the entire book of Jonah.
This day is called Yom Kippur,
which also happened to be the day
a bunch of Methodist women gathered
to wrap up a study on the reluctant prophet.
God, in His grace, and impeccable timing, allowed us to enter in and add our voices to the Mincha (afternoon prayers) and the Haftarah (reading) of Jonah. A roomful of midwest protestants recited together all four chapters and concluded with the words “I am Jonah”, just as it is done in synagogues everywhere.
I am Jonah.
The reluctant one.
The disobedient one.
The forgiven one.