In his letter to the Corinthian church, Paul exhorts, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
Eating and drinking can be an act of worship and honor. So with a bevy of beverages and mountainous menus, what should we eat or drink?
May I advocate to you on behalf of my good friend, Mr. Coffee Bean.
I know, I know, this is obviously not a biblical mandate or a pharisaical litmus test for holiness based on whether your cup that overfloweth be tall or venti, but consider a few things about the glorious hot bean water:
Mind the Body
Did you know your first cup of freshly brewed coffee is your greatest source of daily antioxidants? Also, a review of 18 studies totaling over half a million people suggested each daily cup reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes by 7%. Coffee drinkers have up to a 65% lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease and their risk of Parkinson’s disease may be 32-60% according to recent research. Coffee also affords a lower risk of stroke, colorectal cancer, depression and liver disease. All of this with only two calories per cup!
Awake O Sleeper!
One of the most difficult things for Christians seeking discipline in devotion is carving out time and space to focus on God’s Word. For many, this is hopelessly attempted first thing in the morning. What could help bolster this morning endeavor? The nutrients in coffee help block adenosine, a brain inhibitory neurotransmitter which greatly aids in the waking process (similar to sunlight or exercise). Also, moderate levels of coffee have been shown to improve mood, memory, vigilance, and energy. So if you have trouble waking up in the morning with a good mood, vigilant to effectively memorize and take in the Word of God, adding a cup of Joe could help get you there.
Coffee Shop Gospel
Dr. Alvin Reid, Professor of Evangelism & Student Ministry/Bailey Smith Chair of Evangelism at Southeastern Seminary, recently wrote an excellent article about the growing use of Third Places (like coffee shops) for Gospel-centered community and conversation. He states, “I decided some time back that since young adults love third places like coffee shops, since I love them too, and since it’s easy to access them…I would try to meet there.” He has found the coffee shop to be an open door for Gospel-community. He raves about the affirmative feedback he gets from people with a variety of backgrounds who may be timid in a church building or reluctant to open their front door to a relative stranger, but will gladly sit over a steaming cup of Columbian Dark.
Reid also notes the opportunities for Christians to get to know the baristas, regulars, and new faces at coffee shops where relaxed conversation is the norm.
Personally, I can attest to seeing many people from our church using local coffee shops as a place for discipleship, personal reading, and Gospel sharing. Our communities continually walk in and out of our local coffee shops. What difference could it make if they regularly saw us there?
So as you’re thinking about the many ways God has given us to worship, remember there is a reminder of God’s general revelation and grace just waiting to be poured into your mug (and heart).
Help your body. Help your mind. Help your community.
Drink a cup, thank Jesus, and make it a venti.