A Time for Shade?


“The lust for comfort,” wrote Khalil Gibran, is “that stealthy thing that enters the house a guest, and then becomes a host, and then a master.” Jonah, called by the word of the Lord to serve Nineveh, grapples instead with the tyranny of comfort. From the beginning, he chose the destruction of Nineveh over his own discomfort. He finds purpose and meaning in convenience for himself, but—to the extent that he is even aware of the needs of others—scoffs at their wellbeing. For Jonah, if life is not comfortable, life is not worth living. “The lust for comfort,” Gibran continues, “murders the passion of the soul, and then walks grinning in the funeral.” Not only would Jonah sacrifice his own life for this false master, but the lives of an entire city—from the least to the greatest—including the animals. As the Apostle Paul wrote, “μὴ γένοιτο, may it never be.” (Romans 6:2)

Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Jonah 4:6-11.

Listen: http://tracking.feedpress.it/link/15937/8699175/TBAL%20Episode%20219.mp3

Episode 219 Jonah 4:6-11; Subscribe: http://feedpress.me/the-bible-as-literature; “Sneaky Snitch” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com (http://incompetech.com/)) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http:// creativecommons .org/ licenses /by/3.0/


  1. Hmmm, I didn’t know the American people were a prophet!. Are’t we more like the people of Nineveh who need a prophet to tell them the truth? With all the propaganda that has been dumped on us aren’t we more like the people who cant tell their right hand from their left?

    1. Yes, indeed; nice insight. I hasten to add that both the prophet and the city are under judgment–but in this specific text–the prophet in particular. Remember that judgment is functional. It’s not that we are a certain character in the story, instead, as addressees of the story, we identify with whomever the text critiques. The nice thing about the Bible is that no matter which character you choose, you are still critiqued. Thanks for listening and supporting our efforts and for leaning into the discussion. I wish you a blessed Pascha.

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