Youth Group Journal: Stories of the Bible in everyday life

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Jonah, a story we think about is association with fishing, mainly because he was swallowed by a large fish.

Many people think that Jonah was swallowed by a whale, but in all the translations I looked it, the wording is always Big Fish. Sorry for going off topic so back to the story. But what is made of this story today? I never really thought much of the story or that it was used presently until I started working on a lobster boat. It was one day early in the season and the boat had been having really large catches, like 300-400 lobster per trip, and then I started working on the boat. That next week it seemed like we were not catching near as many lobsters, and that’s when the captain of the boat jokingly said the phrase that I’ve heard all season: “Jake was right! Tyler’s a Jonah!”

Now Jake, my younger brother had never said those words before, and the captain was just joking. However, I did not know what he meant at first…and then it hit me. I was the bad luck, just like Jonah was to his fishing boat. Now, of course the catch has increased, but that is still the running joke on the boat.

“Well if Tyler wasn’t a Jonah then…”

If a line breaks,

“Well, it’s Jonah’s fault.”

And this is a term for many fishing boats and communities, based around the story of Jonah. I never thought of it until I was in that community, but it’s there.

The stories of the bible impact peoples lives and the traditions of different trades and communities. I’m sure my captain isn’t the first to call someone a Jonah and I am sure he won’t be the last. 

The Youth Group Journal is written by Tyler Allen, Director of Youth Ministries at the United Methodist Church of Osterville

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