Do all things without murmuring and arguing, so that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, in which you shine like stars in the world.
Murmuring is a loaded word for those who know the story of Israel. With wondrous deeds God gathered his people out of bondage in Egypt, protecting them from death, opening a path through the sea and swallowing up the greatest army on earth that pursued them. But the people quickly turned from joy to murmuring. Muttering. Complaining. The private words of the disgruntled rippling through the community in waves of gossip fostering discord and discontent.
“Don’t be Israel in the wilderness,” writes Paul, “be the shining stars you were created to be.” Be light for the world. Be radiance and beauty. The world around us has an abundance of conflict and resentment. It needs the light of faithfulness and hope.