Does Jesus Worry About Starbucks Christmas Cups?
Starbucks At Christmas
Imagine the Man-God.
As he enters that place, the fruits of the spirit precede him.
An ambience of acceptance touches the minds of all in that room. There is a kindness and gentleness to it. Whether dressed in rags or adorned in wealth, all feel loved regardless of who they are. Acceptance—that grandfather of all that is peaceful and joyful—settles like a mantle. The rich fragrance of coffee wafts through the Christmas air, but nobody is aware that the spirit of Christmas is there.
The Christmas Coffee Cups Tantalize
The cups have a message of goodwill to all. Be it gay, or black or white, or gender blind (nothing unkind), the picture and the words would that all be collectively heard. It’s not a Christmas wish so much - one of a man-god dying on a cross - but rather that the spirit of humankind make allowances for ‘the other.’
The question is, “Should this period celebrate the sacrifice of one for some, or should it be a time when much of mankind acknowledges its brotherhood?”
Should there be a melding of hol-y-days - Hanukkah, Christmas, Yule, or Kwanzaa? Or should each shop or store, each man or woman, pay careful attention to the wishes of the individual, acknowledging their particular requirement?
What would Jesus do?
What Would Jesus Do?
Jesus did many things. He chased the money-makers out of his temple (Perhaps Joel Osteen and the other mega-churches should take note). And he took his teachings to the places in the wild where what he said would not disturb those who did not want to hear what he had to say. He respected the right of others not to be forced to hear the gospel.
In short, Jesus Christ respected the right of others to believe what they wanted to believe.
When the Pharisees asked Jesus if people should pay tax to the emperor, Jesus was quick to point out that there was a difference to the way the material world operated and the spirit world operated. “Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and unto God what is God’s.” Jesus was not interested in the workings of the material world.
So What is Kwanzaa Anyway?
Kwanzaa is celebrated throughout the Americas by people of African descent between December 26th and January 1st. It was created by Maulana Karenga in 1966 to honor the African heritage passed down to people through the African diaspora. It ends with a feast and gift-giving. "Kwanzaa" is Swahili for "first fruits of the harvest."
And What is Hanukkah?
Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday that falls somewhere between the end of November and the end of December. That is because the Jewish calendar is dictated by the seasons of the moon rather than the seasons of the sun.
It commemorates the re-dedication of the temple and is celebrated by the lighting of candles (menorah) and gift-giving. One gift is given for each of the eight days of the festival.
What is Christmas?
Christmas was taken over from the pagan yule festival by Christians as a natural consequence of more pagans converting to Christianity. It celebrates the birth of Christ on the 25th December by eating turkey and exchanging gifts.
It has dominated Western culture for millennia.
The Commonalities Between Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, and Christmas
All the holidays share a general mood of celebration during the December period as well as gift giving.
The Business Perspective – Rendering Unto Caesar
Business likes to keep its overheads low. That means there is more profit for the shareholders. So rather than create different greeting cards for its different customers, it prefers to standardize them all and use one message to reach all clients. Thus was born the ‘Happy Holidays’ wording.
The Personal Perspective of the Holiday Season
Yet it is not only business that finds it an amenable solution. All of us today have many acquaintances, friends, family members of different persuasions, and those with whom we connect on various social networking groups.
Not only do we not know the exact belief system of all the people we connect to, but it would take considerable time and energy to find that out and then to provide the appropriate greeting.
The Right Words for the Right Occasion
Consider wishing your Jewish friend ‘Good Yomtov,’ your Christian friend, “Merry Christmas,’ and asking your African friend, “Habari gani?” There is nothing wrong with that, and if you are able to do that, by all means go ahead.
However because most of us are not aware of the value of a particular holiday for all those we know, it is so much simpler just to say “Happy holidays!”
And we all know that at some level.
In business we say, “Compliments of the season to you.”
What do you celebrate?
So Would Jesus Worry About Starbuck Christmas Cups?
Here’s what I think Jesus would do.
I think the man of the moment would walk quietly into Starbucks, not drawing any attention to himself. He would let the gifts of the spirit flow to all who were there, and it wouldn’t matter whether they were celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa. His spirt would fill that place, and from him would spread goodwill to all men. The coffee would taste richer, the fragrance would be sweeter, and the smiles would be friendlier. In the background, Bing Crosby would be crooning, I’m dreaming of a white Christmas.’
And it really wouldn’t be the colour or the words of that cup that contains the coffee that the grand man would be focusing on. He would simply sit down and sip, smile at you and me, and say, “Happy holidays. May your cup always overflow with goodness.”
© 2017 Tessa Schlesinger