On Wednesday of this week, the Pender staff took a road trip to Pennsylvania to see Jonah at the Sight and Sound Theater. It was my first time going there – what a neat experience!
We left the church at 7:30am and got to Ronks, PA just in time for lunch. Methodists love to eat! We stopped at an all-you-can-eat restaurant featuring wonderful Amish food. Dienner’s logo was much more sedate than the one next door…
In the same parking lot, RevKev spotted this fine establishment (the small print says “fresh fudge”):
After eating all we could, we headed over to the Sight and Sound theater. From their webpage:
Story, song, and spectacular staging bring each of Sight & Sound Theatres’ epic shows to life. Dozens of professional actors attired in elaborate costumes, meticulously detailed sets towering up to 40 feet high, trained animals, unmatched special effects, and beautifully memorable music inspire 800,000 guests every year.
When we first got to the theater, there was a wonderful quartet of Victorian-era carolers singing for us. It even snowed on them at the end of their segment.
We found our seats and settled in for the show. It really was fantastic, very colorful (except for Jonah!). I liked the feeling of being there, since the theater wrapped around the audience on 3 sides – and had things like fish swimming through the audience and jellyfish floating above.
The boat that looked like a whale was very clever – and the “real” whale was something to behold.
Lots of animals, too –
I would recommend this show to anyone.
After the performance we headed out to eat again even though it was only 4:00. This time we went to Plain and Fancy for an Amish Feast
Click to view full-size
We finally got home about 8:30. I was exhausted but it was a fantastic day.
Jonah and the Whale – Story Summary:
The story of Jonah and the Whale, one of the oddest accounts in the Bible, opens with God speaking to Jonah, son of Amittai, commanding him to preach repentance to the city of Nineveh.
Jonah found this order unbearable. Not only was Nineveh known for its wickedness, but it was also the capital of the Assyrian empire, one of Israel’s fiercest enemies. Jonah, a stubborn fellow, did just the opposite of what he was told. He went down to the seaport of Joppa and booked passage on a ship to Tarshish, heading directly away from Nineveh. The Bible tells us Jonah “ran away from the Lord.”
In response, God sent a violent storm, which threatened to break the ship to pieces. The terrified crew cast lots, determining that Jonah was responsible for the storm. Jonah told them to throw him overboard. First they tried rowing to shore, but the waves got even higher. Afraid of God, the sailors finally tossed Jonah into the sea, and the water immediately grew calm. The crew made a sacrifice to God, swearing vows to him.
Instead of drowning, Jonah was swallowed by a great fish, which God provided. In the belly of the whale, Jonah repented and cried out to God in prayer. He praised God, ending with the eerily prophetic statement, “Salvation comes from the Lord.” (Jonah 2:9, NIV)
Jonah was in the giant fish three days. God commanded the whale, and it vomited the reluctant prophet onto dry land. This time Jonah obeyed God. He walked through Nineveh proclaiming that in forty days the city would be destroyed. Surprisingly, the Ninevites believed Jonah’s message and repented, wearing sackcloth and covering themselves in ashes. God had compassion on them and did not destroy them.
Again Jonah questioned God, because Jonah was angry that Israel’s enemies had been spared. When Jonah stopped outside the city to rest, God provided a vine to shelter him from the hot sun. Jonah was happy with the vine, but the next day God provided a worm that ate the vine, making it wither. Growing faint in the sun, Jonah complained again.
God scolded Jonah for being concerned about a vine, but not about Nineveh, which had 120,000 lost people. The story ends with God expressing concern even about the wicked.