This summer at our church, we are exploring stories from the Bible about God changing people through water. At different places in the scriptures, water represents chaos and fear of the unknown, but also healing and a new source of life. It is not surprising, then, that God does lots of transformative work when his people encounter water in their lives.
The story of Jonah is a particularly interesting read for Americans today. In this very short Old Testament book—only 4 chapters—we meet a prophet who has been instructed by God to go and call out some wicked behaviors happening in the city of Ninevah. Jonah has no desire to do this job, as it requires him to travel a long distance, face danger, and perhaps waste his time; after all, the people in that city are too far gone and will pay no attention to him anyway.