Christmas on a Cup?

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In the ongoing “War on Christmas” the secularists have fired the first caffeinated shot against the Baby Jesus. Have you heard? Starbucks hates Christmas. The coffee giant has unveiled its new holiday cup seen above.

It’s solid red.

No Christmas designs.

No stars, reindeer, snowflakes or ornaments.

No manger scene.

Just a plain red cup.

 

So clearly, they hate Christmas – and they hate Jesus.

 

So says, Joshua Feuerstein in a Facebook post that has been viewed over 11 million times. His exact words, “Starbucks REMOVED CHRISTMAS from their cups because they hate Jesus…SO I PRANKED THEM…and they HATE IT!!!

 

He’s not alone. Raheem Kassan on breitbart.com says that those of us who indulge in a delicious drink from Starbucks out of a plain red cup are being “told/reminded that this time of the year is no longer about Christmas.” It’s almost like he could see me rolling my eyes because he ends his column with, “And no, ‘I’m not reading too much into it’. This is happening. And it’s as disgusting as an Eggnog Latte.” Well, he doesn’t need to drag eggnog into it.

 

Are Mr. Kassan, Rev. Feurestein and those who agree with them “reading too much into it”? I think so. Here’s why:

 

-I think this is one more sign that some Christians in the USA have a persecution complex.   One Presidential candidate said “We are moving rapidly toward the criminalization of Christianity.” Really? Is there any movement to prevent us from worshipping Jesus? From following Him? From living like Him? From loving our enemies? From blessing those who insult us? Paul writes that the fruit of the Spirit, the evidence of living a Christian life  is “Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”  Then he ends with, “There is no law against these things.”  No chance of these attitudes and actions being criminalized.

 

I remember being taught in Youth Group to expect “persecution” for following Christ. I wonder if Christian culture has caused us to look at anything that doesn’t fit into our particular religious/moral/cultural box and see anti-Christian discrimination.

 

-Is Christmas really defined by what is written or not written on a cup? Isn’t it a better celebration of Christ’s birth and a better recognition of Christ to actually live like Him?

 

“Those who claim to belong to him must live just as Jesus did” (1 John 2:6).

 

Isn’t it better to listen to and live out the angelic announcement of “peace on earth – good will toward men?”

Putting a Christmas message on a cup doesn’t compare to living out the Christmas message.

 

So, buy yourself a coffee in a plain red cup.

Buy one for the person behind you.

Buy one for the person at the intersection holding a “Homeless” sign.

Do something “good” for others.

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Christmas: God Walking in Our Shoes

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In the classic To Kill a Mockingbird, Scout has a bad day at school with her teacher and asks her dad, Atticus, for permission to stay at home and not return to school.

Atticus replies with these words of wisdom, “First of all, if you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you’ll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view?”

“Sir?”

“Until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”

Atticus gives us a great description of Christmas:

God climbing into our skin and walking around in it.

“The Word became a human being. He made his home with us…” John 1:14

 

“…he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form…” Philippians 2:7-8

 

God is not distant. God is not out of touch. God gets us.

 

“We have a high priest who can feel it when we are weak and hurting. We have a high priest who has been tempted in every way, just as we are. But he did not sin.” Hebrews 4:15-16.

 

Because God “gets us” we can “boldly (not timidly) approach God’s throne of grace”(not a throne of judgment as we often picture God or a throne of lies as the store Santa in “Elf”) throne of lies

 

Christmas is the celebration of a God who gets us. A God who walks in our shoes.

Jesus knew what it was to have great friends.

Jesus knew what it was to be betrayed by friends.

Jesus knew what it was to be undervalued.

Jesus knew what it was to be the center of attention.

Jesus celebrated.

Jesus cried.

Jesus knew injustice.

Jesus worked against injustice.

Now, listen to what Jesus says to His disciples: “As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you” (John 20:21). God came “in the flesh” to “get us.” Now, He’s telling us to live in such a way that we “get others.”

How different would the world be if we lived that way.

A grocery store check-out clerk once wrote to advice-columnist Ann Landers to complain that she had seen people buy “luxury” items – like birthday cakes and bags of shrimp – with their food stamps. The writer went on to say that she thought all those people on welfare who treated themselves to such non-necessities were “lazy and wasteful.” A few weeks later Landers’ column was devoted entirely to people who had responded to the grocery clerk.

One woman wrote, “I didn’t buy a cake, but I did buy a big bag of shrimp with food stamps. My husband had been working at a plant for 15 years when it shut down. The shrimp casserole I made was for our wedding anniversary dinner and lasted three days. Perhaps the grocery clerk who criticized that woman would have a different view of life after walking a mile in my shoes.”

Another woman wrote, “I’m the woman who bought the $17 cake and paid for it with food stamps. I thought the check-out woman in the store would burn a hole through me with her eyes. What she didn’t know is the cake was for my little girl’s birthday. It will be her last. She has bone cancer and will probably be gone within six to eight months.”

The clerk should have followed Atticus’ advice.

So should we.

This Christmas, let’s celebrate the God who “gets us”.

This Christmas and beyond, let’s live like Jesus.