When given the challenge to write about “what Jesus said about coffee” I thought oh this is going to be tough. We have a lot of humorous thoughts and puns about coffee related to the Bible e.g. HE- brews (Hebrews); But to find THE words of Jesus concerning coffee, there are no actual “thou shalls” to be found.
As I muttered to myself “what did Jesus say about coffee?... Well this will be a short blog post” I heard, felt, the words it’s not what Jesus said about coffee, it’s what coffee and Jesus have in common that matter. It’s what he said, the principles he taught, that coffee, brings the opportunity to experience.
So, it’s from this perspective that I write this post.
CHRIST AND COFFEE
When I was in high school and truly academic institutions, we always had at least one paper, we had to compare and contrast a topic. So I am going to compare coffee and Christ Jesus. Now I realize in comparing Jesus to coffee, this blog post may seem sacrilegious, but considering who he is, I invite you to grab your favorite blend of coffee and sit with us, as we attempt to explore the concept.
Many historians and theologians agree that Jesus existed. They also agree that he came from the Middle East region of the world. “Out of Egypt have I called my son” Some historians believe part of the lineage of Jesus can be traced through Turkey.
My son had the privilege, several years ago to travel to Turkey with his class.
One of the experiences he shared with me, when he returned, was how the men would sit in the marketplace, drink Turkish coffee (probably a thousand times stronger than espresso), smoke cigars, and talk. If memory serves me correctly, he said they talked about family, business, and other social issues of their communities.
This activity would take place every single day except one.
Jesus’ culture was very similar. The men, leaders of the city, were often at the “gate”, discussing social and family issues.
The word tribe, that we often banter about with no respect, or understanding, was the cultural norm. It was highly frowned upon for any Israelite to leave his family, and journey off on his own (Read about Abraham in Genesis).
THE TRIBE OF JUDAH
You’re probably thinking, what does this have to do with coffee?
In the culture of the Middle East and surrounding areas, during Jesus’ time, family connection and community were the two most important structures and systems, that affected economies.
When the men would meet at the gate or the marketplace, they would communicate, to connect, e.g. come to terms, resolve issues, deal with the social ills of their communities. If these men failed to connect, the economies, in their communities were adversely affected
(For biblical reference or context of this read Genesis, Laban and Jacob account).
This is what we do over coffee. We all have, more than likely, met over coffee, to discuss the terms of a contract, getting to know someone better, or talk about things that are important to us with the hope of commonality and community in mind.
The “culture” of coffee is to connect. The coffee culture here in America, helps build economy and community, maybe on a much larger scale, and for very different reasons. But, the commonality of Jesus and coffee is, Jesus’ culture, of community, and connection, is the opportunity, that coffee brings to those of us, at the table, when we offer it, at ours.
COFFEE. COMMUNICATE. CONNECT.
Like the men of Turkey did so many years ago, during my son’s trip to Turkey, many of us take time over coffee, a cup of tea, or at happy hour to understand each other, to build bonds with each other, build business with each other, all in an attempt, to build better community.
Isn't that who Jesus is, and what he does, on a daily basis?
From what I read about his culture and biblical text, it is his very nature, to have a beverage (maybe coffee) communicate with us, in an effort to connect, and build community.