If you were in worship this past Sunday, you might have seen our children’s director do a crazy announcement video using the Red Starbucks cup. (You can watch the video here.) When Leah told me about the announcement video and using the Red Cup, she also explained to me the controversy surrounding those cups. I had a hard time believing her, so I checked it out myself and was shocked at what I found.
In case you haven’t heard, Starbucks has created quite a “brew-haha” (pun intended) with the introduction of these Red Christmas cups. As I was reading about the situation, I was amazed to discover how some people viewed the Red Cups. Apparently, because Starbucks used plain, simple Red Cups without Christmas decoration on it, there were some who claimed the Red Cup “denies the hope of Jesus.” And it seems that those Red Cups were “oppressing Christians by insulting Christmas.”
I thought about it for a few minutes then decided to go to a Starbucks and check these offensive Red Cups out for myself. I asked the barista for one the offending cups. And even though she gave me one of those “are you crazy” looks, she handed me a plain red cup. As I held it in my hand, carefully examining it, I did not feel offended at all. In fact, I was surprised and thankful. Surprised because Starbucks actually “got it” better than I sometimes do. And thankful because they reminded me of how Christmas should be celebrated.
I look at the Red Cup and am reminded that we often complicate Christmas. All the glitter, lights, tinsel, and decorations of Christmas can be overwhelming, and we can easily miss the revolution of grace that is Christmas. After all, the Creator of the Universe slipped in to human history without much glitter and lights with very little fanfare. Now when I see a Starbucks Red Cup, I am reminded to keep it simple rather than trying to fill every minute of every day with busyness.
So thank you Starbucks for reminding me what I sometimes forget. Thank you for reminding me that as a follower of Jesus maybe I should spend more time trying to change the world rather than change your Red Cups. And maybe rather than getting worked up about “Keeping Christ in Christmas” I could focus on being more Christ-like myself.
You know, rather than boycotting Starbucks, I think I just might spend some extra time there. Yep,l that is what I am going to do and while at Starbucks I will probably buy someone a drink in a Red Cup; someone who needs something warm to drink, simply a smile and an act of grace. Who knows, maybe I will be offering a Red Cup to Jesus Himself. After all, isn’t that what He said about serving and loving the “least of these”?