So… About that Red Cup

A month ago or so this country tried to lose its mind when Starbucks unveiled its annual Holiday Cup that was plain red. In a startling victory of common sense, “It’s just a cup” overwhelmed social media and quickly quashed the notion that this disposable vessel of overpriced caffeine was the end of Christianity as we know it.

Much of that pushback came with observations like Christmas “Want to Keep Christ in Christmas? Then feed the hungry, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless forgive the offender, visit the sick and comfort the grieving.”

That seemed to calm things down and we all felt good about being Christians again.

But are you really doing those things?

Sure, we are all doing something in the next few weeks where we can put a couple of bucks in the special envelope at church and say we did one or two of these things. But sending a check is easy. Building relationships is tougher. And oh, by the way, far more effective.

Does your church know Ashley Steele at the Urban Mission in Steubenville? How about Jim Szakacs at the Nehemiah Mission in Cleveland, Dawn Livingston at Epworth Center? Is there a place nearby where instead of a cross and flame there is a symbol of another denomination but strong ministry is still provided?

When January comes and the Treasurer cuts that check to a mission, don’t mail it. Fill up a minivan and go deliver it. Make an appointment. Take the tour. Learn more. And be sure to ask “How can a church like mine help?” Then on the way home develop a plan to do that.

Sending a few bucks to a mission project can help us feel good and I’ll testify that this financial assistance is welcome, vital and well-used. But what if your church provided money AND volunteers, or money AND advocacy, or money AND love and connection to the clients?

The war on Christmas isn’t from a red cup, as we have learned, but the war against compassion is from apathy and separation. Let’s object to that as loudly as many objected to a red cup.Severa

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