Starbucks released its famous red holiday cup this week. And unlike past designs, which included snowflakes, reindeer, and other agnostic clipart, this year’s cup is just red. That’s it. A red cup.
Big deal, right? Oh, you’d better believe it’s a big deal to a critical mass of believers out there who are following the lead of some random Arizona preacher who has decided to fight back. The guy went viral on a Facebook video after he told a barista his name was “Merry Christmas” so she would have to write it on his cup. (Of course, his video included a shameless, self-promoting plea for people to “start a movement,” similarly trick their local baristas, take a selfie with their cup, and post it under a lame hashtag that would draw more attention to him.) If that weren’t enough reason to question this faux drama, now presidential candidate and world-class cynic Donald Trump is also suggesting a boycott might be a good idea.
People, listen to me: Jesus does not need a Starbucks cup with snowflakes and reindeer on it to feel validated during the holidays. He needs you to take Him more seriously than that.
Jesus wants you to love your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:28-31), and there’s nothing Christ-like or loving about arm-twisting your neighbor into celebrating holidays in ways that make you feel jolly. There’s nothing Christ-like about pulling a juvenile prank on a barista whose life would be a lot easier if you’d just tell her your name is Joe instead of wasting her time and making your fellow Christians look like jerks.
If you really want to win the so-called “war on Christmas,” the most neighborly thing you can do at Starbucks this season is show some genuine care in your voice when you talk to your exhausted-looking barista, and then drop a generous tip in there every time you go in. Or maybe you could buy a cup of coffee and a pastry for a homeless person. Something tells me God will be able to do a lot more with that than He can a red cup with a reindeer design on it.
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