Hebrew Scripture: Jonah 2:1-10
Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the belly of the fish, saying,
“I called to the Lord out of my distress,
and he answered me;
out of the belly of Sheol I cried,
and you heard my voice.
“You cast me into the deep,
into the heart of the seas,
and the flood surrounded me;
all your waves and your billows passed over me.
“Then I said, ‘I am driven away from your sight;
how shall I look again upon your holy temple?’
“The waters closed in over me;
the deep surrounded me;
weeds were wrapped around my head
at the roots of the mountains.
“I went down to the land
whose bars closed upon me forever;
yet you brought up my life from the Pit,
O Lord my God.
“As my life was ebbing away,
I remembered the Lord;
and my prayer came to you,
into your holy temple.
“Those who worship vain idols
forsake their true loyalty.
But I with the voice of thanksgiving
will sacrifice to you;
what I have vowed I will pay.
“Deliverance belongs to the Lord!”
Then the Lord spoke to the fish, and it spewed Jonah out upon the dry land.
When Israel went out from Egypt,
the house of Jacob from a people of strange language,
Judah became God's sanctuary, Israel his dominion.
The sea looked and fled; Jordan turned back.
The mountains skipped like rams, the hills like lambs.
Why is it, O sea, that you flee?
O Jordan, that you turn back?
O mountains, that you skip like rams?
O hills, like lambs?
Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord,
at the presence of the God of Jacob,
who turns the rock into a pool of water,
the flint into a spring of water.
New Testament Gospel Lesson: Matthew 12:38-42
Then some of the scribes and Pharisees said to him, “Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.” But he answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation asks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so for three days and three nights the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth. The people of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the proclamation of Jonah, and see, something greater than Jonah is here! The queen of the South will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth to listen to the wisdom of Solomon, and see, something greater than Solomon is here!
Bible verses from The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All right reserved.
Selections from Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings, copyright 1995 by the Consultation on Common Texts.
Image credit: Sailors throw Jonah overboard/Jonah in mouth of whale by an unidentified illuminator of the Carrow Psalter from the Walters Art Museum (Walters Manuscript W.34, fol. 131r detail) via Flickr.