02 September 2013

Encountering Jesus ~ "gong-good'-zo" - Go ahead and say that, just like it looks like it sounds!



That's the pronunciation for one of the words in the first paragraph... in Hebrew. So, if you know me at all, you know I love words, and in this passage of Scripture, "gong-good'-zo" immediately captured my attention. Any guesses? What word?

A clue? - It is onomatopoetic
At this the Jews there began to grumble about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” They said, “Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, ‘I came down from heaven’?” 
“Stop grumbling among yourselves,” Jesus answered. “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day. It is written in the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God.’d Everyone who has heard the Father and learned from him comes to me. No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father. Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died. But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” 
Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” 
Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your ancestors ate manna and died, but whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” He said this while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum. (John 6:41-59)
It's also sinful...

So what's the word?


Maybe it's because I have such a grumbling-in-my-heart-even-when-I-stay-silent-attitude (especially when I don't keep up with my gratitude list)... or maybe it's because I live with teenagers who some days strive to turn grumbling into an art form. Probably, it is a combo of the two with a good dose of other stuff thrown in as well.

I'm increasingly convinced however, that grumbling, particularly my grumbling, is sin each and every circumstance where I'm choosing it. Just like any form of passive aggressive disobedience - I still do what is expected... or required... or demanded... Yet at the same time, with with my words and my attitude, I try to make someone else pay for expecting, requiring or demanding said behavior. Unfortunately, those who bear the brunt of such nastiness are, most often, not the "responsible" parties.

Who are the common responsible parties? I've been thinking about that a lot, lately and... Ultimately? I believe all grumbling is, effectively, directed towards God... fussing about the weather... about the job situation... about the homework recently assigned... about the internet not working like I want it to... about my weight... about my teenage daughters' hormones and attitudes... about the pain of this missionary life... about what the preacher preached on Sunday... about... etc., etc., etc. When I grumble, at the final tally, I'm essentially telling God that I'm not happy with what He's working out in my life or how He's going about it. I could also be refusing to accept responsibility for the consequences of my own actions and choices.

The other thing about grumbling, that I alluded to already, is that the grumbling is rarely directed at or towards the person or object of discontent or frustration. Look at what happened in  the passage above. Pretty typical of a grumbling incident, the people didn't first take their concerns to the Lord - and it would seem like He was standing right there. Instead, they started murmuring and grumbling and complaining among themselves, talking to teach other about how what He'd just said couldn't really be right or true or even make sense. If it didn't make sense, then they could immediately discount it. Seems kinda crazy that they would follow Him all the way to the other side of the lake, supposedly because they wanted to hear what He had to say. Then, when they didn't like it, they began to fuss and grumble. I wonder if they felt they'd wasted their time?

Their big question? "How can He now say..." 

And this still remains the key question and stumbling block to belief in the world today... How can Jesus be the Son of God? How can He be the only way?

Jesus immediately confronts that grumbling-directed-but-not-directed-towards-him... but more about that, next week!

 this week's gratitude list
(#'s 4124 - 4149)

that goodbyes hurt when there's so much love

being able to be (as one of my friends always used to say) righteously proud of what my boy's done, how he's doing

receiving lots of texts that detail whats going on or questions he has - he may not communicate like my girls do, but at least there's not silence from the other end

that he's already initiated contacting the church we visited last weekend

listening to him talk about all the new people he's meeting and new things he's trying and new ways he'll be challenged

for the little glimpses he saw of how God might be working... even though he's not convinced it was God and not man... it was at least extraordinary enough that he's leaning towards the God working side

seeing my dear friend walk through the "arrivals" passageway at the airport the other day

stainless steel and aluminum cups, blue birds and lots of antiques

talking late into the night - and realizing there were still at least a thousand more things to share and hear

driving the twisty, mountainous roller coaster roads (that's Brendan's description) of Pennsylvania... getting lost and finding myself time and time again, just for the fun of it

that beautiful gift of knowing that it just wasn't enough hours to spend with someone you love... but a full heart, a few tears and so much thankfulness for those few, not enough but still absolutely delightful moments

wondering when we'll be able to get together again... the whole family the next time (or my girls might just assassinate me. As they said, they need their Miss Mary fix as well.)

hanging out with dear Midland friends all weekend

an amazing welcome to the neighborhood for Bren at Messiah College

another amazing provision by God - Brendan's roommate's dad works for Dow Chemical company and regularly travels to Midland on business. They offered to see if there's any way they can help facilitate Bren's travel back and forth when he needs to come home!

opportunities to speak to people in the offices where we needed to speak to people

the opportunity to transport luggage for someone else... after all the times people did so for us, it is great to be able to help someone else in that way

a phone call we'd been waiting for is finally behind us

finding out that I might be able to take the classes for my re-certification totally on line

#3 girl has now become our tallest girl

hilarious texting conversations with my oldest girl that had me laughing so hard, the tears were rolling

getting hacked for the first time ever on fb... and finding it funny (but it wasn't my kids - they'd be too terrified of what I might do later to get even to try!)

safety as I traveled through the fog, the mountains, the traffic, the sleepy-ness... and the relief of finally turning onto Perrine Road and then collapsing onto my bed

sleeping and sleeping and sleeping and sleeping

streaming video to watch our church service

funny and amusing puppies

so much anticipation for what this year will hold and 
being okay with the overwhelming-ness


Ten most recent posts in this series: 

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