Traditional Maasai culture uses the phrase “chewing the news” to describe conversation between two people who haven’t seen each other since yesterday or longer. When traveling between villages on the well-worn footpaths and meeting a friend, the conversation goes something like this:

Maasai 1 – Where’s the news?

Maasai 2 – Here it is

Maasai 1 – oohh

Maasai 2 – Everybody is fine

Maasai 1 – hhmm

Maasai 2 – My wife is good. My children are good

Maasai 1 – oohh

Maasai 2 – The cows are fine. The goats are fine

Maasai 1 – that’s good

Maasai 2 – They are giving milk. The grass is green

Maasai 1 – yes, peace

Maasai 2 – We don’t have any number seven visitors (whatever that means)

Maasai 1 – oohh

Maasai 2 – My mother is sick

Maasai 1 – why? What is it?

Maasai 2 – God knows

Maasai 1 – yes, peace

Maasai 2 – My neighbor with the buck teeth died. Killed by a buffalo

Maasai 1 – ya don’t say

Maasai 2 – Everybody is fine

Maasai 1 – oohh

Maasai 2 – I have malaria

Maasai 1 – my my

Maasai 2 – I’m a bit better now

Maasai 1 – yes, peace

Maasai 2 – School fees are due and if I don’t find the money the kids will stay home

Maasai 1 – hhmm

Maasai 2 – we don’t have any problems

Maasai 1 – oohh

Maasai 2 – Everybody is fine

Maasai 1 – yes

Maasai 2 – and that’s the way it is

Maasai 1 – so it is, in peace

Maasai 2 – Where’s your news?

Maasai 1 – Yes, here it is

Maasai 2 – oohh

Maasai 1 – Everybody is fine

Maasai 2 – hhmm

…. And now Massai 1 tells Maasai 2 all his news. (btw, didn’t Maasai 2 have quite a day yesterday?)

When both have finished, it is common to return to the news of interest and chew it some more. “Where did the buffalo come from?” or “Did you take your mother to the clinic? How much did it cost?” “What did you do about the snake bite?” (Maasai 1 probably had a story to share, to keep up with Maasai 2.) Between good friends who haven’t seen each other for awhile, this can go on for a long time.

Dan chewing the news…

Connie chewing the news…

This whole process of chewing the news came to my mind a couple of days ago as I read Romans 1. The Apostle Paul mentions The Good News many times. It made me wonder what chewing The Good News would sound like, using verses 1-4, 16-17:

Paul: Here’s the news from me, a slave of Christ Jesus

Gentiles (the Romans): oohh

Paul: I’m chosen by God to be an apostle

Gentiles: hhmm

Paul: sent out to preach his Good News

Gentiles: that’s good

Paul: God promised this Good News long ago

Gentiles: ya don’t say

Paul: through his prophets in the holy scriptures

Gentiles: oohh

Paul: The Good News is about his Son

Gentiles: how so?

Paul: In his earthly life he was born into King David’s family line

Gentiles: hhmm

Paul: and he was shown to be the Son of God

Gentiles: (untranslatable expression of surprise)

Paul: when he was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit

Gentiles: my my

Paul: He is Jesus Christ our Lord

Gentiles: yes, peace

Paul: I am not ashamed of the Good News about Christ

Gentiles: yes, that’s true

Paul: It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes

Gentiles: everyone?

Paul: the Jew first and also the Gentile

Gentiles: my my

Paul: This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight

Gentiles: yes, peace

Paul: This is accomplished from start to finish by faith

Gentiles: oohh

Paul: As the Scriptures say

Gentiles: tell us

Paul: It is through faith that a righteous person has life

Gentiles: yes, life is good

Paul: And that’s the way it is

Gentiles: so it is, in peace

If you’ve made it this far, here’s my point. (oohh) Sharing the Good News with friends, family and neighbors can be as natural as the Maasai chewing the news on the path. Pray for the right opportunity to chew the Good News about Jesus. (yes, peace)

Til next week, Dan