Jonah 3:1-10 – Jonah Goes to Nineveh
1 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 important city–a visit required three days. 4 On the first day, Jonah started into the city. He proclaimed: “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overturned.” 5 The Ninevites believed God. They declared a fast, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth. 6 When the news 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 Then he issued a proclamation in Nineveh: “By the decree of the king and his nobles: Do not let any man or beast, herd or flock, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink. 8 But let man and beast 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 had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction he had threatened.
Psalm 51:3-4, 12-13
3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. 4 Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. 13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will turn back to you.
Luke 11:29-32 – The Sign of Jonah
29 As the crowds increased, Jesus said, “This is a wicked generation. It asks for a miraculous sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah. 30 For as Jonah was a sign to the Ninevites, so also will the Son of Man be to this generation. 31 The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with the men of this generation and condemn them; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, and now one greater than Solomon is here. 32 The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now one greater than Jonah is here.
look upon us and hear our prayers.
Through the power of the Holy Spirit,
help us to discipline our bodies
and be renewed in spirit.
We know we have to work hard to resist temptation
and to change some of our habits.
We know that spiritual renewal won’t come easy.
But we also know that all we will ultimately be able to accomplish
will come from You – as a gift.
So we ask from a deep place in our hearts for your help.
Blessed be God, the giver of salvation. With great confidence, let us ask:
Lord, renew us in your Spirit.
Lord, renew us daily through your Spirit,
– that we may enjoy your presence.
Help us to work with you to make this world alive with your Spirit,
– and to build on earth a place of justice, love and peace.
Free us from all neglect, selfishness and laziness,
– and give us joy in your gifts of grace.
Deliver us from evil,
– and from slavery to the things of this world, which can blind us to goodness.
I know you receive what is in my heart.
Let me be inspired by your words
and by the actions of your Son, Jesus.
Guide me to make sacrifices this Lent
in the spirit of self-denial
and with greater attention to You
and to those around me.