Off to a Bad Start

This sermon discusses Jonah's decision to go to Tarshish instead of Nineveh as God had commanded him to do, based on Jonah 1:1-10. I can remember the first time I heard the story of Jonah.  After I heard the story, I didn’t go swimming for weeks. Oh, wait that was Jaws.  Now, I remember the story.  The whale ate Jonah, and he became a real boy.  Oh wait, that was Pinocchio.  Maybe I don’t remember the real story of Jonah as well as I thought!  All I have is images of the Veggietales version with Archibald Asparagus as Jonah (I would have gone with Bob the Cucumber myself).  And I bet I am not alone.  Ask anyone—they would tell you that Jonah is a fish story and one that is very hard to swallow, at that!  And as a result, we just don’t take these forty-eight verses very seriously (when was the last time