Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Grumble, Grumble, Grumble

So the Jews grumbled about him, because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” They said, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” Jesus answered them, “Do not grumble among yourselves. No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day. It is written in the Prophets, ‘And they will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me—not that anyone has seen the Father except he who is from God; he has seen the Father. Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.” John 6:41-51

I have spent most of the past few days go round and round with my health care company. Needless to say, it can make one grumpy and frustrated. As churches look ahead for planning in this season, many of us are also frustrated with the lack of funds, lack of participation...there are many things that we can find to grumble about. These days, we can find ourselves, for many reasons, being grumpy and grumbling about the circumstances.

Jesus gets a less than cordial reception when he speaks in the temple. For whatever reason, the audience is frustrated and confused by his words, rubbed raw by what seems like impertinence from the young man in their midst. They had been hopeful before, only to have their hopes dashed and frustrated. Despite their frustration and grumbling, Jesus offers them a relationship of eternal life and love. And in the midst of our grumbling and frustration, Jesus offers us the same. We are not alone or dismissed in our circumstances, but rather buoyed up, lifted beyond the challenge to a relationship permanent and reliable. One where hope and possibilities are restored, and broken hearts are mended and renewed.

Today I ask God to help me face the daily frustrations with hope and vision for the future. Help me look beyond these bumps in the road, and help me use these moments as an opportunity to deepen my relationship with you. May my response to the delays and glitches be gentleness and kindness, rather than grumbling and anger. May my life be dedicated to being faithful and reliable, tenderness and kindness in a world racked with pain and delay. May our lives bring light and healing this day in God's name.

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