“This generation . . . asks for a sign, but no sign will be given it except the sign of Jonah.” (Luke 11:29, NRSV)
There are themes of “End Times” in our observance of Advent as we both look back at the years and events leading up to the birth of Jesus Christ and to His “coming again.” The times we live in are no less turbulent than the times in which Jesus spoke the above words. Like folks back then, we would love to have some inside knowledge of what is going to happen, and when. We want something tangible, a “sign.” Jesus tells us the only sign any of us in any age are going to be given is “the sign of Jonah.”
Jonah ran from God and from the task of bringing redemption for a nation Jonah would just as soon have seen destroyed. It took 3 days in the belly of a big fish to change his mind. When he reluctantly carried out his mission the nation of Nineveh repented and was saved from destruction. To me, the “sign of Jonah” indicates that God is going to eventually be victorious over the evil of the world, and the only sign we have of that will be when we see those victories. Already God has been victorious over death and sin through his work in Christ, who spent three days in the belly of a tomb and was resurrected. Therefore, perhaps the only sign we need of God’s work is the Resurrection! What do you think?
Repeat to yourself, or with someone you are with: “Christ has died. Christ has risen. Christ will come again.”
– Fr. Larry Parrish, St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Falls City