Monthly Archives: October 2016

Catch the vision (Do we lament or do we grumble?) (Year C, 30 October 2016)


When Jesus invites himself to Zacchaeus’ place, Luke says (19.7),

All who saw it began to grumble and said, “He has gone to be the guest of one who is a sinner.”

Grumbling must be pretty well universal. We read that Israelites grumbled when they wandered in the wilderness for forty years.

People grumble about all sorts of things: school or work, asylum seekers, the in-laws, slow internet speeds, the Brisbane Lions, their smart phone freezing, politics, kids. And they also grumble about other people who grumble all the time.

When people grumble to one another, they often feel a bit better. Someone else feels the way they do! They feel that they must be right, after, all their friends agree with them!

But you know, despite all that the bible isn’t too fond of grumbling. For example, James 5.9 says

Beloved, do not grumble against one another, so that you may not be judged. See, the Judge is standing at the doors!

Grumbling is never helpful in church life. No matter how right we feel, no matter that all our friends agree with us.

I must have been a bit of a grumbler when I was a kid; I have strong memories of mum telling me ‘Stop your moaning!’ It’s easy to grumble when things aren’t going right. Right?

I think I certainly would’ve have grumbled if my parents had named me Habakkuk—but you know, the prophet Habakkuk wasn’t one to grumble.

Your  may think he was a grumbler. After all, he wrote

‘O Lord, how long shall I cry for help,
and you will not listen?
Or cry to you “Violence!”
and you will not save?’                          Habakkuk 1.1–2

But when Habakkuk said this, he wasn’t grumbling. It might sound like it, but he wasn’t. He was lamenting. What’s the difference between the two? Lamenting?—grumbling?—it all sounds the same… Continue reading

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