They’re pretty by the way.
Sort of an ombre effect with shades of red that reminds me of the variations in my daughter’s newly purple hair.
I kind of like ‘em. After all, everyone needs a little change now and then.
So, here’s my vote.
If you call yourself a Christian or a follower of Christ, let’s take it upon ourselves to change the way the world sees our faith.
That’s some change we could really use don’t you think?
I read an article earlier today and was shocked to hear that Christians (as far as I can tell, two men) were offended by these cups because, somehow, it was a political statement by Starbucks symbolizing that they choose to ignore Christmas. I’d like to have a typing tirade about how nonsensical it is to be offended over a coffee cup but, then I’d have to continue in a fit over why it’s even newsworthy. The foolishness can be seen across the board and it peeks its’ prideful head out at an ever increasing rate. When I read, yet another story, about someone who claims to be a Christian and what shocking thing they’ve said, I inevitably thought to myself, “How embarrassing for all of us and what a fool. How I’d love to give them a piece of my mind.” On the other hand, the media (whoever they are), doesn’t seem to have any interest in ignoring ignorant people and highlighting those in the Christian faith that do amazing and wonderful things. I get angry to say the least.
But here’s the deal. As a follower of Christ I am called to be an ambassador of peace and to reach out to the world and show God’s love. My greatest desire is to graciously encourage people to know Jesus better today than they did yesterday. SO…..I am learning to slow down, breath, think and guard my tongue.
Let’s just say that my personality proves that this will be a life-long lesson…but I’m working on it.
So I’m left with new coffee cups for my Youthberry tea and a question as to how I should respond to this and the other Christmas offenses that so many will express over the next few months.
First of all, our faith does not rest on Christmas or Easter. Heck, it doesn’t rest on what we do with Halloween either. Our faith rests on Christ crucified and resurrected. It rests on His ability to redeem us. To make us new. We’re actually called to be instruments of that same redeeming work in the world around us. (In every area of our world! That’s a whole ‘nother topic for later and it’s amazing!) The truth is that most holidays we celebrate were once pagan holidays. When people came to faith, they would “redeem” those holidays by assigning Christian truths to them. They didn’t pass a law saying everyone had to follow their lead, in fact, in the beginning they were the minority and may have been ridiculed for celebrating in such a way. But they did so to bring honor to Jesus and to celebrate His grace and love.
Instead of fighting about how and if other people celebrate the way we feel like they should, especially people that don’t even claim to know Jesus, why don’t we celebrate in such extravagant ways that people want to be involved? Why don’t we give like no one else? Why don’t we fight the urge to be sucked into the materialism of the season? Why don’t we get together and have fun with friends and family instead of complaining? Why don’t we serve those around us? Why don’t we worship loudly and with joy? Why don’t we refuse to be part of the madness that is called holiday shopping? (Okay, I’m not proposing we don’t shop…just that we don’t take out grandma just to get that last toy on the shelf.) Why don’t we do random acts of kindness for people? Why don’t we express our gratitude instead of our greed?
Why don’t we love?
Secondly, speaking of love, our faith is not a list of dos and don’ts or a random standard that we hold others to. It’s not that confusing. Jesus even said it’s simple enough for children to understand. Personally, I think that’s why adults have such a hard time with it. Our faith is wrapped up in two phrases.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.
Love your neighbor as yourself.
Starbucks cups aren’t mentioned anywhere. For that matter, neither is Christmas.
Thirdly, we have to make up some ground. Paul writes to the Corinthians in regards to another topic and tells them to be careful how they act so that nonbelievers don’t think they’re crazy. It’s done. They think we’re crazy. The very same people that we are called to love, serve and to introduce to Jesus have written us off as nut cases. To be fair, they have some good evidence for that opinion. But it just means those of us who are forever grateful for what Christ has done in our lives have to take the crap thrown at us and love anyway. People need to see a change in the church but they will only believe it if they see it in individuals. You and I. We have to take this life seriously and live with abandonment to Jesus. We have to forgive one another. We have to love one another even when we disagree. We have to serve and take care of one another. We have to be kind, gracious, gentle, humble, wise, holy and pure. And we really should be fun. Christianity should bring joy to our lives, not a frown. It’s been a while since the world has seen a church like this.
Are you with me?
We could all start meeting once a week with our friends to encourage one another, pray for one another and submit to one another so we are able and willing to be called out on the things that make us look crazy. What do you think?
Maybe at Starbucks?