Thanks for stopping by, whether you got here by a link or hitting "next blog" -- I am glad you are here. I've also done some writing on homeschooling, and what I learned thinking I was teaching.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

How Do You Like Your Coffee?

Joe Fox in “You’ve Got Mail,” remarks:
“The whole purpose of places like Starbucks is for people with no decision-making ability whatsoever to make six decisions just to buy one cup of coffee. Short, tall, light, dark, caf, decaf, low-fat, non-fat, etc. So people who don't know what [ . . . ] they're doing or who on earth they are can, for only $2.95, get not just a cup of coffee but an absolutely defining sense of self: Tall. Decaf. Cappuccino.”

What does it say about me that I can’t handle that number of choices?

I take a small coffee black unless I am with my daughter, or someone who knows how to order. I let them go first, making me look polite; I smile and agree, “That sounds good, I’ll have one too,” faking decisiveness. I don’t always know what I am getting, but their company makes it all worth it.

I wonder if church looks like a confusing array of choices to seekers – people looking for answers or companionship?
  • Do you want early, 9:30 or 11:00 A.M. worship? Or, do you prefer an evening service?
  • Contemporary or tradition worship?
  • Where do you park?
  • Do you need child care? Sunday school . . . for teens or adult?
  • During the week, do you want Bible studies, discussion groups, church suppers, or recovery groups?
  • Do you want to help in the inner city?
Or, were you just wondering who Jesus is – and if anybody here knows how to ease the ache that is driving you crazy?

The church may seem like a fancy coffee shop – and we may seem like busy baristas trying get everybody’s order right – and we may be so comfortable in our little hang-out that we forget those who wander in may not know how to read the menu – because they don’t know what we really are serving – and don’t know how to ask for what they want. Sometimes even us regulars lose sight of what to ask for.

John the Baptist lost that sight – and I am greatly comforted that when he was facing a bad end, he sent to the Lord, asking if He was who John thought He was. And Christ sent back word – "Go back and tell John what's going on: The blind see, The lame walk, Lepers are cleansed, The deaf hear, The dead are raised, The wretched of the earth learn that God is on their side. Is this what you were expecting? Then count yourselves most blessed!" (Matthew 11:1-6 from THE MESSAGE )

Are we offering anything that smells good and delights those who wait for it? We get so busy serving – the church forgets we aren’t offering a menu of God, nor an array of choices of how to fit Him into your take-away container. Maybe we need to lay aside our questions about what you want, and tell you what’s going on with us, because of Him – believing He will help you and me know what we are doing with our lives in ways that mastering the choices at Starbucks never will!


bwsmith said...

Joe Foxe’s price tag, $2.95, is not far off from what too many of us in the church today order:
“$3.00 Worth of God.” In an acerbic but familiar commentary Wilbur Rees wrote:
"I would like to buy $3.00 worth of God, please - not enough to explode my soul or disturb my peace, but enough to equal a cup of warm milk or a snooze in the sunshine. I don't want enough of God to make me love an enemy; I want ecstasy, not transformation; I want the warmth of the womb; not a new birth. I want a pound of the Eternal in a paper sack. I would like to buy $3.00 worth of God, please."

Flo said...

A painfully true sentiment, my friend. Here in the country at Grace Reformed, we serve 2 acapella hymns, 2 prayers,and 40 minutes of expository preaching. Main ingredient: Jesus.

bwsmith said...

Acapella hymns - how wonderful. I can almost hear your lovely voice, friend -- remembering some of our bible studies.It can get to be a tension teaching sound doctrine and yet permitting time and space to develop a true relationship with Christ.