O, the grace of God that He would call us to serve Him—we undeserving, incapable, ignorant slaves of earth. Yet He calls us, and that is but a part of His great grace to us. Jonah was among the recipients of God’s grace in all its wonder, that He would use such as him. More wondrous still is that He wants to use us.
What follows is part of a breathtaking sermon by “Father Mapple”, a fictional minister from Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, adapted by author Ray Bradbury…
“And God spake unto the Whale. And from the shuddering cold and blackness of the deep, the Whale breeched into the sun and vomited out Jonah on the dry land. And Jonah, bruised and beaten, his ears like two seashells, still multitudinously murmuring of the ocean, Jonah did the Almighty’s bidding. And what was that, Shipmates? To preach Truth in the face of falsehood. Now Shipmates, woe to him who seeks to pour oil on the troubled waters when God has brewed them into a gale. Yea, woe to him who, as the Pilot Paul has it, while preaching to others is himself a castaway. But delight is to him who against the proud gods and commodores of this earth stands forth his own inexorable self, who destroys all sin, though he pluck it out from the robes of senators and judges! And Eternal Delight shall be his, who coming to lay him down can say:
Oh Father, mortal or immortal here I die.
I have driven to be thine,
More than to be this world’s or mine own,
Yet this is nothing
I leave eternity to Thee.
For what is man that he should live out the lifetime of his God?”
I am a preacher and I am speechless.