The coffee shop and the Gospel

The coffee shop feels a little more crowded and busy today…more so than last week when I dined here.  Maybe there is more gossip to chew on.  Maybe it is because summer has unofficially begun and more people are around.  Maybe, just maybe, word has gotten out that I dine here on Thursdays to be among the “congregation”.  LOL (laugh out loud)…Surely I jest.

 

Once again I am at Coffee Choices; among the “congregation”, trying to hear, listen and respond to a Word from God.  I am trying to be careful to not think that this is a magical place where God’s Word is transmitted more powerfully than other places.  After all…this is only a coffee shop.  But then I am reminded of a bumper sticker I have seen on some blogs I read that says, “I drink coffee so I can do dumb things faster” or hear the gospel faster perhaps.  LOL!  Maybe I am more “amped up” on caffeine here and thus feel more energetic and alive.  Hmmm….  

 

(Excuse me…my hands are starting to shake.  Maybe I should stop at six cups of coffee.)

 

Anyway…this week I am being lead into Paul’s letter to the Romans where Paul boldly proclaims, for I am not ashamed of the gospel; it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes… 

 

(I wonder what Paul would have been like on six cups of coffee.  Hmmm…)

 

Paul’s bold proclamation is received by a group of people with plenty to fear (and maybe to be ashamed of).  Christians feared for their lives.  They had to be secretive.  There was no public worship.  And among this environment Paul reminds the people that even though the powers that be may take his life, he has a greater power with him…the POWER OF GOD.  This same power he enjoyed in his life was also theirs and it is also ours.  And because of this power there is no need to be ashamed.

 

But now, as I hear the murmur of voices all around me, I wonder what is stopping me from speaking a Word to the people here and now.  I wonder how people would respond if I gave a loud whistle and asked if I could pray with them; read from scripture; or lead a biblical discussion.  I wonder what is stopping me.  Am I ashamed?  I don’t think that is the right word.  Maybe it is…but I don’t think so.  And even though I amped up on six cups of coffee, my fast moving brain has no answers.  So I pause and ponder…and I still have no answers.

 

(Wow…I can’t believe I just turned down another cup of coffee.)

 

Well…my coffee shop time is coming to a close.  It’s like that zone that one gets into (where everything around seems to disappear and quiet a couple decibels) and then all of a sudden you drop out of it; like the Enterprise dropping out of warp.  Then you realize all that you have gotten done and say “Wow!”  Now I feel much more aware of what is going on around me; as if the voices have gotten louder.  I feel myself “creeping along” now so I guess I should move on.  I guess should move on before I am tempted to drink cup-of-coffee number 7.

 

But as I creep along, I am still pondering coffee shops and the gospel…

 

-edh-

5 thoughts on “The coffee shop and the Gospel

  1. David

    Six cups? Wow, after six cups I might have at least stood up and led a rousing chorus of “A Mighty Fortress.” Then again…perhaps not.

    Good insights here Eric, and plenty to wonder about when we think of those things that are keeping us from spontaneously sharing the gospel in such a public way. Are we ashamed, scared, nervous? Perhaps a combination of all three, and then some.

  2. LawAndGospel

    Interesting thoughts here. If faith comes by the hearing of the gospel, and if the gospel is the power of God AT WORK saving all, it really makes we, who know and are no in fear of real persecution ( unlike others in the world), stop and think. Every time I have invited someone to church in spite of self-imposed awkwardness, they have come. In Paul’s day, part of the shame was the indignity of Jesus’ death in such a shameful non-powerful way. I wonder if sometimes we think overt faith expression is undignified? My own random, non caffeine induced thoughts.

  3. Pastor Eric

    “I wonder if sometimes we think overt faith expression is undignified?” — I think that would be the case for many people depending on the situation.

    PS — I am on my way to check out your meme response.

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