This time last year there was much discussion over the Starbucks cups. They had committed the most grievous of since by making their holiday cups just plain, red cups. As it approached time for Starbucks to reveal this year’s cup design it had me thinking, what would Jesus do? Ok, just kidding. I wasn’t really into the WWJD movement back in the day. But I really have been thinking about what all the hype over the Starbucks cups is really all about.
Here are a few thoughts on the topic:
- No Christmas Trees: Starbucks Christmas coffee cup has no Christmas trees on it. Well guess what. Jesus never had a Christmas tree either. So, I doubt He’s offended because they left a tree off the cup.
- No Reindeer: Unless I’m mistake, there were no reindeer in Bethlehem. So, by not putting reindeer on their Christmas cups they are actually MORE inline with the story of Jesus birth.
- No Santa: Santa didn’t visit baby Jesus. Again, it would seem that by leaving Santa off of their cups they are actually closer to what we, as Christians’ celebrate at Christmas time.
Ok, these are a little tongue in cheek. Here are some serious thoughts about the issue.
Starbucks sells coffee.
At the end of the day Starbucks sells coffee. They will do what they think will help them sell more coffee. If that means a plain red cup, then they will use a plain red cup.
When you complain, Starbucks still wins. There is an old saying that even “bad” publicity is good publicity. When you fill up your social media feed with talk about Starbucks and their evil cups, you keep them on people’s minds. When those people want coffee, they are MORE likely to go to Starbucks because it is on the to of their mind.
Jesus never spoke out against such things. In fact the only people that Jesus ever spoke out against were the “church people”. Whenever we read of Jesus interacting with other people he did so with love.
Jesus probably WOULD drink Starbucks. Jesus turned water into wine, AFTER PEOPLE HAD ALREADY HAD MUCH TO DRINK. He had dinner with tax collectors, societal outcasts. He let a woman known for her sinful lifestyle wash his feet, because the “church people” wouldn’t. If He thought that there were lost people inside Starbucks I think He would walk right up in there and order a latte. I also don’t think He would have them put “Merry Christmas” on the cup as His name. He might say, “I Am”, or “Son of God” or “Son of Man” or “Savior of the world” or maybe “Messiah”, but probably not Merry Christmas.
God doesn’t need us to defend Him. If you are a Christian then you believe in the God of the Bible. This is the God that wiped out Sodom and Gomorrah with fire from the sky. This is the same God that flooded the entire earth because it had become so wicked. IF God is truly offended by Starbucks and their new cups, I think He can handle Himself.
The bottom line is this. It’s just a cup. The symbols that are missing from last years Christmas cups have nothing to do with Jesus anyways. So what if there are no snowflakes, Christmas trees, or jolly fat men. Christians need to stop complaining about such things.
I have a challenge for all these Christians that would have us not shop at Starbucks because of these cups. Try this and see how it works out for you: Go to Starbucks. Be polite and friendly to the barista and other customers. Smile and show them the love of Jesus.
Pay for the person behind you and maybe even the person behind them. In fact, just give the barista a $20 and pay for as many people as that will cover. Take it a step further and give her a $50 or $100 and buy as much coffee as that will buy.
Every time you want to complain about such things stop and think about it. Instead, go out and tell someone about the great things that Jesus has done for you. Share the gospel with them. In fact, anytime you feel the urge to complain about these types of things throughout your day, share the gospel with someone.
At the end of the day it is just a cup. Nobody is protesting red Solo cups and they have lead to more sin than a red Starbucks cup ever could. But, even if these cups were somehow sinful, the answer is not protest or boycott. Rather the answer is love and the sharing of the gospel. No one is going to come to Christ because they like the way Christians complain or fight. However, when they see how we love EVERYONE and they hear about the hope that is possible through Jesus Christ, then they just might be willing to give this Jesus person some thought.Matt Norman
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