Can we learn anything from Jesus and coffee? After all, he didn’t even drink it!
This post is part of the Five-Minute Friday quick write hosted by Kate Moutang. Join us each Thursday night on Twitter (#FMFParty) for fun and fellowship, then grab a pen and start writing when the prompt goes live!
FYI Jesus and Coffee Aren’t Mentioned in the Bible
“Let’s stop by Tim Hortons on the way to the zoo this morning,” my auntie said. “Canadians love their Tim Hortons.”
“Sure,” I answered. “I could use a good cup of coffee.”
“What do you think?” my auntie asked anxiously after I took my first sip.
“Ahh, very good,” I lied. The coffee tasted bland, maybe a step above gas station coffee, but I didn’t want to hurt her feelings. I bit into one of their chocolate-filled croissants. “And these are amazing!”
Decades have passed, and my coffee tastes have matured. I’ve gone from drinking caffeinated coffee to decaf. Sipping regular old joe to crafting my own lattes and Americanos at home. I’ve stopped at dozens of Tim Hortons while traveling through Canada, and my initial assessment hasn’t changed. The pastries (both in price and taste) surpass anything Starbucks has ever created. The coffee? Meh.
But this post isn’t about Tim Hortons vs. Starbucks, it’s about Jesus and coffee. No one had discovered coffee in Jesus’ time, so you won’t find it in the Bible. But Jesus does mention another part of daily life—salt.
Before refrigeration, salt served as a preservative as well as a flavor enhancer. In hot desert climates, people needed salt to survive. Impure salt could lose its flavor (have its chemistry changed) during humid conditions. But everyone needed salt, and everyone used it—to flavor, to fertilize, and to preserve.
Now we understand how salt can have both beneficial and destructive properties. People with high blood pressure should avoid it. The strength of the metaphor has faded as salt prices decreased and the purity of the product increased.
Which Makes Me Think About Coffee
If we want to use a modern metaphor, consider Jesus and coffee. What if Jesus had told us to be the coffee of the world? Coffee, like salt, has many different permutations. People depend on coffee—whether in the ritual of preparing and drinking it or the jolt of energy it provides.
Coffee has health benefits, as well as health warnings. The cultivation of coffee can ruin rainforests. It can cost an exorbitant amount (Black Ivory coffee) or cost a lot AND go through an animal’s digestive system before roasting (Kopi luwak coffee).
Some people add all sorts of things to their coffee—creamers, sweeteners, chocolate, or cayenne. Others like it black. Some people hate coffee, and others love it from their first sip. Weak coffee, gas station coffee, Starbucks lattes, Tim Hortons coffee, bitter coffee, espresso, Americanos, percolated, poured over, French pressed, or caffeinated or decaffeinated—coffee comes in myriad ways. Some we like, some we hate.
Christians come in myriad ways, too. Sweet, bitter, faithful, occasional, consistent, inconsistent, cheap, overpriced, underappreciated, on pedestals, on the narrow path, and on the broad path. Non-Christians either love us or hate us. They see our impurities, our imperfections, our inconsistencies, and despise us because we claim one way and act another.
But what if courageous Christians concentrated on giving love and energy to the world instead of focusing on personal preferences and claiming a corner on truth?
I think maybe Jesus would sit back and smile. And take a sip of coffee (decaf, skinny latte, of course).
I like the idea of coffee being to today’s society what salt was in the past.
Letitia J P Mason recently posted…Springing up – one brick at a time
Thanks for stopping by, Letitia!
Anita Ojeda recently posted…You Won’t Want to Miss Shadows in the Mind’s Eye!
Having grown up in a Finnish culture of coffee (I starting drinking coffee at age 12), it is part of daily routine. But it didn’t get passed on to all my children. One daughter was a avid coffee drinker but gave it up for health reasons. My other daughter does not drink coffee but will graciously make a pot if I am visiting. My son never drank coffee until having a newborn son, needing a bit more wake-up.
I agree with you–Christians should be focused on love and grace.
Thank you for sharing about your family’s coffee-drinking traditions! My husband only drinks Cuban coffee (which is mostly sugar), and only when we’re at a Cuban restaurant. Our daughters both enjoy coffee, and I adore going out for coffee with them.
Anita Ojeda recently posted…SCH 092 Eight Hacks to Help You Deal With Pent-up Anger
I solemnly swear to be the coffee to the world!
Love this analogy!
Barb Hegreberg recently posted…The Magical Black Elixir
Some shameless cultural appropriation here, since I am Mongolian.
If I were a coffee,this pledge I would be makin’
that the only thing for me
would be to be Jamaican,
no shirt and some distressed jeans,
dreads down to my waist,
ganja and just what it means
to Blue Mountain taste.
I’d represent beloved land
with an island rhythm,
playing in a steel-drum band
to help mend that wide schism
so each coffee-drinker knows
of the land in which it grows.
No matter what style of coffee or how it is made, non-Christians and Christians will judge. The analogy is priceless and true. Baby Christians are judged, older Christians who refused to marry the world view are criticized, YET- God chose us to carry his message. How wonderful to think about that with the enticing smell of a morning brew.
Great analogy, very thought-provoking. Thanks for sharing 🙂
Love this Anita! Perfect lesson for us in the world today!
Cindy Wilkins recently posted…Wake Up and Smell the Coffee ~ Five Minute Friday
Anita, thank you for sharing your thoughts on coffee and Jesus. Beautiful!
Well amen to this invitation, Anita – ‘But what if courageous Christians concentrated on giving love and energy to the world instead of focusing on personal preferences and claiming a corner on truth?’
Anita, This is fantastic. I was smiling the entire time I was reading. So wonderfully spoken.
PaulaShort recently posted…Who Is Jesus & Why Does He matter
I love this analogy and it’s a good one for me to remember in my coffee-focused blog and life! Even if I don’t quite agree about Tim Horton’s. 😀
Visiting (late!) from FMF#22
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