Missing out on the good news
This past weekend someone I know posted something on social media that amazed and perplexed me in the worst way possible. The video they posted was a viral video that was about starting a movement, a movement to get the words Merry Christmas on Starbucks coffee cups. Now I don’t know much about the history of movements, but my guess is this is one of the worst ones ever!
In the video, this gentlemen who I have seen videos posted of before but not watched, explains that Starbucks took the words Merry Christmas off their coffee cups, and we should get them back on. So when the baristas at Starbucks ask your name, tell them it is Merry Christmas, so they have to write it on the cups and say it. He also goes on to point out his high quality christian t-shirt and concealed weapon he likes to carry. I am sure he means well, and probably does a lot of good, but in this movement he seems misguided.
What he is suggesting is not really a movement, at least not one that represents Christ well.
Christianity in itself should be seen as a movement. A movement to share the Good News of Christ, that the creator of the universe came to be with His creation. To restore and renew what was once good but became diseased by sin. The movement of Christianity is a movement of Good News, this #merrychristmasstarbucks movement seems to be lacking in the good news category.
Instead of a movement sharing a Gospel of love, hope and restoration, it seems to be more concerned with saying “F you” to people who don’t believe what they believe. Instead of a movement embodied by love and respect for all people made in the image of God, it postures itself from a place of privilege and smugness. Starbucks is not a Christian company, it has never claimed to be. And we don’t live in Christendom, while Christianity may have historically influenced North American nations, they are not Christian nations. We do not have a place of privilege in this world, nor should we expect one.
The idea of thinking that saying your name is Merry Christmas is going to spread the Good News of Jesus is not a good use of our time and energy. We would do much better in this season leading up to Christmas to buy that Starbucks coffee and give it to a panhandler sitting in the cold. Or better yet not drink $3 coffee for a few days and donate that money to a place like this or like this where that $3 can give someone a meal they might not have otherwise.
A movement that uses its time and money to bless others, that is a movement that would be worth giving our lives to. Funny enough that is the movement first century followers of Jesus started, and they didn’t need social media to do it.
And just in case you were wondering, Starbucks still has their Christmas Blend beans, so they aren’t as anti Christmas as maybe we think.