“The word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time, saying, ‘Get up, go to Nineveh, that great city, and proclaim to it the message that I tell you.’ So Jonah set out and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly large city, a three days’ walk across. Jonah began to go into the city, going a day’s walk. And he cried out, ‘Forty days more, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!’ And the people of Nineveh believed God; they proclaimed a fast, and everyone, great and small, put on sackcloth.” (Jonah 3:1-5) In the little book of Jonah, the second time is the charm (I suppose). The first time the word came to him, he had a better idea. Going in the opposite direction from where the Lord called him, he had that famous encounter with the big fish. Having now had the situation more clearly explained to him, and hearing the word again, Jonah goes. Have you ever missed your first opportunity to hear God’s word and do it? Have you ever been in a situation (hopefully lacking the drama of Jonah’s!) where life events made the second call a little easier to obey? Jonah’s story is a wonder to me. It is a story about second chances and God’s amazing love offered to people who do not deserve it. Nineveh, the capital of Assyria was responsible for great evil in the ancient Middle East. Yet, God offers them a chance to repent because of his great love for them. Jonah the prophet hates the people of Nineveh and wants nothing to do with their potential salvation. Yet, God offers him a chance to repent because of his great love for him. Have you ever had an undeserved second chance? I sure have. Do you know anyone who needs a second chance? Do you know anyone (perhaps even someone whom you do not particularly like?) who needs a second chance; someone who needs to know that ours is the God of second (and third and fourth..) chances? Where is our gracious Lord calling you to offer hope for redemption? Take a moment, I will bet something or someone comes to mind. Have a great week!