by Rev. Sarah Garza on March 13, 2024

Am I a “grumbler”?  Well, I like to think that most of the time I keep a fairly positive outlook on things and look for the best in people and situations.  BUT there are definitely times I find myself reverting to grumbling. (Just ask my family about how much I’ve complained about the change to Daylight Savings this week!)

I started reflecting on grumbling this week as I read a devotional based on the story of Zacchaeus.* You may be familiar with the story of the tax-collector, a “wee little man” who climbed a tree in order to get a better look at Jesus as he walked by.  Jesus, calling Zacchaeus by name, invited himself over to spend time in Zacchaeus’ home, and then “Everyone who saw this grumbled…” (Luke 19:7, CEB).

Throughout the Gospels, lots of people grumble about the things that Jesus does, especially when he enters into connection, conversation or relationship with “those people”.  But the devotion I read this week pointed out that this particular group of grumblers very well could have included the disciples.  Everyone who saw, grumbled. 

And it made me pause, and wonder: Am I a grumbler?  What boundaries does Jesus push on past that make me uncomfortable?  What changes does Jesus call me to that I am unhappy about?  Who am I hesitant to enter into connection, conversation or relationship with?  How am I joining the grumbling crowd? And how can I respond differently?

Jesus always made space for the outsider, the outcast, the lost, the despised, and the least.  How can I take steps to follow Christ in this more faithfully?  What do I need to stop grumbling about? 

What grumbling can you reflect on? How can you take steps to follow Christ more faithfully? 

*The devotional came from Toward the Cross: Heart-Shaping Lessons for Lent and Easter by Tylor W. Mills (pages 74-83)

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