The story can be told as follows:
God told Jonah. “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and tell them they are bad and they need to change and become good.”
Jonah turned and went the other way. He found a ship going as far from Nineveh as you could go.
A great storm broke out. The sailors were afraid, so they decided to cast lots to see whom God was angry at. They wanted to throw that person overboard to get rid of him.
Now a prophet is someone who can speak for the One True God, but Jonah still did not speak. The sailors asked him who he was. He told them he worshiped God, the One who made the sea and dry land. The sailors were even more afraid. They knew that he was trying to flee from God.
The sea grew more troubled, so Jonah said, “Throw me in, and the storm will stop.” So they threw him in. All was quiet. The sea was calm.
As Jonah sank down in the water, a great fish swam up and swallowed him. Jonah was in the belly of the fish for three days and three nights. Jonah began to pray and the fish began to feel very strange. It grew sicker and sicker. Finally it swam to the shore and vomited out Jonah onto the dry land.
Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time. “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and tell the people there that they are bad and that they need to change and become good.” This time Jonah went to Nineveh. He cried out to the people of Nineveh that they were bad and that God commanded them to be good. God said that they would all be destroyed if they did not.
The people of Nineveh listened to God’s call. They turned and became good, so God did not destroy that great city. This disappointed Jonah. That was the opposite of how most prophets would feel. Jonah was a strange prophet. What did he do next?
As we close each storytelling session, we have wondering time where we can think further about the story as a group.
Some wondering questions to try at home:
- I wonder what part of the story you like best?
- I wonder what part of the story is the most important part?
- I wonder where YOU are in the story?
- I wonder if there is any part of the story we can leave out and still have all the story we need?
- I wonder what happened next?
We are now entering the season of Advent. When the children return to Godly Play after Thanksgiving, we will change the liturgical colors in the classroom and focus our lessons on Advent.