I really get tired of reading articles, listening to personal opinions and discussions on whether or not Jesus drank wine? Now, this may shock some of you! I really don’t care. In my opinion, if He did, so what? He’s Jesus! He can drink whatever he wants to! I can’t wait to read the nasty e-mails rebuking me for writing this. The older I get, the less patience I have for some of these endless arguments and discussions that will never satisfy any particular group(s) or individual(s). Those who may hold strong religious and theological views and differences on the use of alcohol will not likely change their position. So, I’ve chosen to move on. Now, the real issue, argument, and discussion that concern me are whether or not Jesus would have drank coffee if there was a Starbucks in Jerusalem?
Well, the Pharisees of Jesus’ day accused him of eating and drinking with “sinners and winebibbers” (see Luke 7:34). I wonder what they would have said if he hung out with me at Starbucks? I mean, caffeine can be addictive. If you’ve ever gone on a long fast or consecration and had to abstain from drinking coffee, then you know what I’m talking about. The caffeine withdrawals and headaches will have you almost crawling up the walls! I’ve had members of our church ask me during our annual Daniel’s Fast if a coffee bean was a vegetable so that they could drink coffee. (FYI: A coffee bean is a seed of a coffee plant. Sorry, it’s not a fruit or vegetable.) Believe me; I really wanted it to be a fruit or vegetable.
Now, what would Jesus drink if he and I hung out together at Starbucks? I don’t like blended drinks like frappuccinos. Starbucks currently has over 30 different frappuccino drinks, and there doesn’t seem to be an end to the corporate coffee-makers creating new drinks for those loyal customers. I think Jesus would like a manly drink like an espresso, cappuccino, or macchiato. He may want a grande or venti brewed black coffee (hold the cream and sugar, please). Maybe He would enjoy my favorite: two shots of espresso and a tall cup of black coffee (no cream or sugar!). Ahhh! Now, that’s real coffee.
After we ordered our drinks and croissants, we would find a table somewhere away from the window just to talk and work. Now, the only problem with having Jesus hang out with me at Starbucks would be people approaching our table and asking Him to perform a miracle. People can be so rude! Can’t they see we’re taking a coffee break?!? Yes, I’m being a little selfish, but this is my personal time with Jesus. We just came in to check our email, Facebook page, and just chill-out for a few hours before returning to deal with a multitude of needs and requests. I need to talk with Jesus and tell him what is upon my heart. I need this intimate time with the Savior, like friends do when they need someone to talk with, someone to share those deep and personal needs, and someone to be a real friend. I would like for Him to sit down at my table and drink a cup of coffee with me. There is no friend like Jesus.
I’m sure Jesus would be tech savvy and would have a web page linked to all the various social networks. Gabriel and the angels’ network would be Tweeting what the Savior is doing today. I would bring my laptop computer, and Jesus would bring his iPad. Why an iPad? I don’t know. It just seems like it would be Jesus’ style to carry an iPad.
“Really, Jesus, do you have that many Friends on Facebook?” I would ask.
“Don’t hate because I’m more popular than you!” We laughed.
As crazy as this all sounds to you, it isn’t very far from reality. Jesus often got away to share personal and intimate times with his disciples. As a matter of fact, He enjoyed imparting His wisdom with, loving them, teaching them, and directing them. He often took them away to solitary places away from the crowds to spend more intimate time with them. I could only imagine the joy they felt having the Savior, the Messiah, and the Christ-child in their midst.
My coffee time with Jesus is what Gordon McDonald calls having an “inner conversation” with the Lord. McDonald describes an inner conversation as,
“Reflection is an inner conversation—discourse one generates with oneself and with God. During inner conversation, your engagement with other people is suspended. There’s a time to love, to serve, to care for other people. But a time of inner conversation is personal and private” (McDonald, 2010)[i]
After Moses led Israel out of Egypt in their sojourn in the wilderness, Moses erected a tent called the “Tent of Meeting” at the edge of the camp. This is where the Israelites stayed while Moses conferred with God on the mountain. When Moses went to the tent, we are told “the Lord would speak to (him) face to face, as a man speaks with his friend” (Exodus 33:7-11). McDonald writes,
“Although the God of the Bible is great and mysterious and cannot be described in human terms, here is an exceptional description of conversation between Moses and the God of Israel. It dares to describe God in intimate human language. But the purpose of the writer is not to make God seem like one of us, but to express the way of inner conversation in which Moses is able to recalibrate his life as a leader” (McDonald).
My inner conversation with Jesus at Starbucks, at home, at church, in my secret closet, or any other place where I may spend time with Him becomes a sacred place of communion and fellowship. A patron at Starbucks asks me once how I could study or think amidst the noise and traffic of people coming in and out. “Because I’m having an inner conversation with myself,” I said. I didn’t tell her that Jesus was sitting with me. That would have really freaked her out.
[i] McDonald, Gordon. “Your Most Important Conversation.” Leadership Magazine, June 28 2010.