It's a cold and cloudy morning. My cinnamon-vanilla cup of joe is nestled in my right hand, a warm welcome. But my mind keeps traveling to those little red cups, filled to the brim with tasty goodness. Peppermint mocha and pumpkin spice lattes woo me!
I suppose I can blame all the images bombarding social media right now. If I didn't take the time to read, I'd likely think Starbucks is going heavy on their holiday promos this year.
But the company doesn't need to do much in the way of advertising right now. The ranting of one man gone viral has done the job for them. The ridiculous (in my humble opinion) notion that we Christians are being slighted (and that Christ is being removed from Christmas) because the red cups no longer wear a WINTER emblem, has become a hot topic. And those innocent red cups have dominated much of social media's threads. Making it all the harder to put my temptations to rest. My budget cries NO! But nothing quite compares to a red cup of hot peppermint mocha latte piled high with whipped cream.
Honestly, I do not believe Starbucks is making a statement with this year's little red cups. If anything, they might be encouraging simplicity, a notion most of us can glean from. You know what I'm referring to here ~ slowing down the hectic pace, the mad rush to the malls, the spending frenzies, the keeping-up-with-the-Joneses mentality, the deck-the-halls-or-it-won't-be-Christmas mantra.
Because, really? As a Christian, this is NOT where I want my focus to be. I want it to be on a manger, and the babe who occupied it, then grew to be a man, who bore my sins and died for me so that I might live. This is the heart of Christmas as I understand it. This agape love of Christ is what we are called to show the world.
Starbucks, I don't want you thinking the rantings on social media in any way represent true Christianity. I am embarrassed at the thought of being lumped in the same category as this hyper-antagonistic young man. This is not what being a Christ-follower is all about.
Wouldn't it be a better witness (and a more pleasing one to God) if we stop criticizing businesses that don't even claim to be Christian? What if we were to set down our political correctness arguments, and start walking the walk? You know ~ feed the hungry, care for the sick and elderly, love the enemy across the street, and exemplify the love of Christ. (Let's not forget ~ faith without good works is like dead wood.)
This, I believe, is how we reach people ~ one loving act at a time. Not by throwing a tantrum over a simple red cup. As for me, please fill one with a peppermint mocha latte...extra whip, and put my name on it. Though my wallet screams no, all those red cups are calling me!
"What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, 'Go in peace, be warmed and filled,' without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead." ~James 2:14-17 ESV
"If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal." ~1 Corinthians 13:1 ESV