Special Choir Events..
Some 350 were in the pews Sunday, April 28, when the Wesley-Knox Junior Choir presented its rollicking musical, Oh, Jonah! Everyone knew, of course, that in the story, Jonah would be swallowed by a whale, but they soon found out there was more to the story than that!
This story comes to us from a time when people still thought of God as a god of requirements and rewards, granting good health and prosperity to the righteous and sending misfortune to those falling short of God’s mark. In the story, God asks Jonah to go to Nineveh, the “city of sin”, to warn its people of God’s unhappiness and get them to repent. Jonah balks, gets on a ship and heads for Tarshish instead. When a storm hits the ship, Jonah accepts the blame and lets the crew throw him overboard. God saves Jonah by sending a whale (actually the Bible says “big fish”) that swallows Jonah and later coughs him up onto dry land.
In part two of the story, Jonah reluctantly goes to Nineveh to warn the Ninevites of God’s impending wrath and calls on them to repent. Surprisingly, they do so. But Jonah is not happy. He would rather God had punished them and he sits under a tree and pouts. God then has a few words with him and Jonah comes around to God’s way of thinking. At least, he does in the musical! In the Bible, the story actually ends a bit abruptly here…
It’s a great story, very much about our human stubbornness, irresponsibility, and tendency to be more concerned with being right than being compassionate. But mostly it’s about our inability—try hard as we might—to run away from God and God’s love for all people including those who are different from us.
That certainly came through in the musical! Congratulations to the leads: Christian Haworth (Jonah), Owen Spicer (the captain), and Book Kimber-Johnston (the king). Also to the six angels (did anyone notice a resemblance to Charlie’s Angels of 1970s television fame), apprentice angel Rev. Tracy who came in at the end, and to Karen Pincombe who directed the show, Karen Schuessler who directed the music, Mary-Bee Haworth and choir parents who looked after costumes and a hundred other things, Brian Ratcliffe who played the piano, Linda Imrie who designed and created the set, and all the members of the Junior Choir who sang and acted with such energy and beauty. A real Wesley-Knox team effort!
Here is a selection of six more photos from Oh, Jonah! Photos by various choir parents.