I must admit that to me, a coffee addict, the prospect of moving the ball down the field and making coffee more front and center rather than a drink in the fellowship hall is appealing. If you love coffee, it would be the next best thing. Apparently, I am not alone.
It is not simply the drink of success for the churches on the move but the rescue of those near death! The Lord is calling us to a coffee ministry -- that will solve everything! We can give up our building and its focus on Christ and we can invest in a business that will make us money instead of costing us money. We can give a taste of the Gospel along with every cup of special brew and every organic and healthy baked treat. What could be wrong with that? That is the question....
Coffee and Christ sounds great but is it the Church? Is a sip of the best, darkest, richest brew the new sacrament of the future? You can have it your way -- frothy or spiced and everything nice. Jesus is not only your Savior, He is your barista! Why, if Jesus had thought of it, we would not have had two thousand years of something that says it is bread and a bare sip of wine. No, we would have had something we want and enjoy. But, if Jesus is calling churches to rise up from the ashes of their death through a coffee house ministry, then Jesus did think about it and He is the one at work using our love for cold brew, flavored, strong, and light coffee. It is all good, right?
Why is it that we have so little confidence in the Word and Sacraments that we consistently invent a reason for people to come to church that bypasses the means of grace our Lord has established? Well, we are like Abraham and Sarah of old who gave up on the promise and took matters into their own hands, well, uh, you get what I am saying. How did that turn out, by the way? Ishmael and mom Hagar were not exactly in sync with the will and purpose of God. Some have suggested that the whole history of Middle East conflict is to blame on Sarah's handmaid and Abraham's desire for an heir at all costs. In any case, the Church will live to regret our substitute for God's way of growing His kingdom but in the meantime we will have a good cup of coffee, a great scone, and we can by-pass the dull sermon. Right?