Father, we call to You with shofar and heart.
The sound of the shofar has particular significance for us this morning, It reminds us that You have appointed this time as the Feast of Trumpets, the beginning of a time of repentance and consecration. We enter into it with joy for Your mercy and justice, and with adoration for the magnificence of Your creation and for the precious gift of Jesus.
The sound of the trumpet also foretells of the Second Coming of Your Son, and a time of accounting and judgment.
We are reminded of the people of Nineveh, reprobates all. And we are reminded of the disobedience of your servant Jonah who rejected Your call to go to Nineveh. But we are also heartily encouraged by the Nineveh story. Your Word tells us what happened:
Then the LORD spoke to Jonah a second time: “Get up and go to the great city of Nineveh, and deliver the message I have given you.” This time Jonah obeyed the LORD’s command and went to Nineveh, a city so large that it took three days to see it all. On the day Jonah entered the city, he shouted to the crowds: “Forty days from now Nineveh will be destroyed!” [And] The people of Nineveh believed God’s message, and from the greatest to the least, they declared a fast and put on burlap to show their sorrow.
When the king of Nineveh heard what Jonah was saying, he stepped down from his throne and took off his royal robes. He dressed himself in burlap and sat on a heap of ashes. Then the king and his nobles sent this decree throughout the city: “No one, not even the animals from your herds and flocks, may eat or drink anything at all. People and animals alike must wear garments of mourning, and everyone must pray earnestly to God. They must turn from their evil ways and stop all their violence. Who can tell? Perhaps even yet God will change his mind and hold back his fierce anger from destroying us.” [And] When God saw what they had done and how they had put a stop to their evil ways, he changed his mind and did not carry out the destruction he had threatened. Jonah 3
Like the people of Nineveh, we are living in times of rebellion and wickedness. We have sinned, turning aside from Your commandments. Open shame belongs to us. Because of our sins your people have become a reproach to those around us.
Lord, we know that You are compassionate and longsuffering, and that You desire none be lost. Forgive us for the great sins in our nation and as believers. Please rise and take action to revive your Church and to bring about a turning. Let Your eyes be open and Your ears attentive to our prayers and our repentance for the people of God and for our nation.
Lord, help us to grasp our Nineveh moment. Let us concentrate ourselves to the task before us. We plead that You hear us in heaven and that even now Lord, as you did for the Ninevites, provide for the Return of your people to righteous living that that honors and glorifies You.
We lift up this prayer to You in the precious name of Your Son and our Lord Jesus Christ.