Epiphany 3 – Year B
Jonah 3:1-5, 10
I just saw a sermon for this coming Sunday that posited WalMart (called Mall Marty World in the sermon and VoldeMart by others) as Ninevah. That may trigger other arenas for you where this tale might well be told. The message Jonah brought in the sermon is: "It's not keeping the customers happy that I'm most concerned about; it's the way you treat your employees. They have nowhere else to work and you don't pay them a living wage. When their children are sick, they have no health insurance to pay for their medical care. When they are too old to work, there are no pension funds to help them maintain their mortgage and car payments. It's not right. Your managers and executives live very comfortably." [Found on Midrash posting from John Sumwalt]
Instead of just a generic "Repent" it is helpful to be specific about what is needed. When you find your Ninevah you will also find your voice and it will thrive on detail, not generality.
Behind every prophecy is an understanding that the future stands open, G*D is open. An important corollary is that G*D is not fate, but life. Change is at the heart of life. Responding to new situations with new responses is crucial to healthy living. When one part of the equation changes, the whole situation can be rethought. To change the present is to change the future. However you cast it, smile, a Living G*D is at work and a Living Image of G*D can do no less.