We love to root for the underdog. It's why movies like Rocky become enduring classics, why the 1980 US Olympic hockey team is memorable even to people (like me) who don't like hockey. I have enjoyed preaching this current sermon series, We Can Be Heroes, because I love those stories of underdogs God chose in Scripture to do outstanding things. I love reading about an overlooked wife (Leah) who God preferred over her more desirable sister; about a pagan prostitute (Rahab) who became an Israelite hero; about an feisty old geezer (Caleb) who showed a younger generation how to trust in God; and about a jittery weakling (Gideon) who became a triumphant warrior. Such stories inspire us to believe that God sees in us the qualities the world seems to have missed...and that we ourselves may even have been unaware of.
But what about when our misfortune is not a matter of genetics, poor social environment, or bad luck? What about when we're down and out because of our own foolish decisions? In other words, does God choose sinners, too? If you know anything about Jesus, you know the answer to that story. This Sunday, we'll look at perhaps the most stubborn man who ever lived, and the God whose stubbornness was even greater. Jonah's story is familiar to many of us, but there's a lot more to it than "some guy who got swallowed by a whale." Come see what I mean--and see what a stubbornly gracious God we serve--this Sunday.