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Friday, June 20, 2014


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Over cups of coffee:

old men talk about the weather…

professors and students talk about their latest assignment…

young lovers discuss whether or not to make it facebook official…

seasoned lovers plan for their retirement…

she plays with her cup, as she tells him "I don't think this is going to work"…

friends ask, "how are things?" between sips and slurps…

strangers play a friendly game of cards…

business is done, and hands shake…

and the barista briefly becomes a priest,

as news, the good and the bad, is confessed.
Life has a tendency to happen over a cup of coffee; tea; wine; beer; water…

Sitting in this booth at that new coffee shop in town, I’m reminded of that night, in that upper


room, with those friends of his, over a cup of what was probably wine [or Welch's Grape Juice] Jesus said this:

I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.

In his farewell discourse, at a shared meal, over bread and a cup of wine, Jesus reminds the disciples...

…reminds us…

that our identity is not in our titles or labels or even the names on our sign out front; neither are we defined by our creeds, charters, or the confessions we have in our constitution; nor does it lie in our ability to recall all 66 books of the bible; nor is it in how articulate we are or sound when we use them Christian-ese words like justification, sanctification, or when we theologize the Incarnation.


Rather, we are defined by Love.
The story of this love is also told over our Sunday meals— the one with a loaf of bread and a cup. Around that table and over one cup or many tiny cups, we are moved from being the citizens of empire to the citizens of heaven. We taste love, those words Jesus promised with a cup in his hand:

a cup of compassion
a cup of justice
a cup of mercy
a cup of spirit
a cup of love
a cup of life

Over cups flowing with wine, Jesus gave us the language of love. But Wisdom’s whisperings weren’t contained only in that upper room. We see Love wooing on streets full of those living in the shadows, at pools where those burdened by bad luck gathered, and in homes of those who had only perfume in a bottle to offer. Jesus never withheld love and never does.

We as God’s people, as followers of Jesus, witness to God’s love for the world by living as a community in which the presence of Christ obscurely manifests in the love we share for one another.

To fully know the love of God we must not be afraid to come to God exactly as we are. Those whom Jesus loved(s) struggled through crowds, traveled long distances, and defied the status quo to sit in the presence of Love Incarnate. The result?

They received life, while Christ lost his.

One cup marked the end of one life, only for it to overflow into the cups of others.

So take a moment, remain sitting, and over a cup of tea, or coffee, or whatever it is you are drinking, and consider what is happening above, around, beside, and within you.
What is happening over your cup of life?

What new stories of love are being told?

What new insights of love are being made?

What new dreams are unfolding, inspired by love?

May you have courage to brew with God a life of joy and excitement. May you in turn, offer the goodness that is your life to the empty cups around you.
[Adam Quine, Pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Lincoln]


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