I love this quote by Leonard Sweet
“Coffee is a communal drink. The Baptist beer.”
He goes on to say
“Coffee connects people, and it helps people connect. Far from the dulling effects of alcohol, the other traditional communal beverage, coffee sharpens out wits. Even decaf has a way of opening our eyes to the day, to what’s going on around us. If coffee is a civilizing drink, it’s also a clarifying drink. It’s easier to think, ponder, to consider and reconsider with a cup of coffee in hand. That’s why coffee and rational discourse have always gone together: coffee sharpens wits, clears minds, and enhances the power of connections.”
While I don’t think Baptists and beer are quite as mutually exclusive as most people (including Baptists) believe they are. For proof all I need is to reference the joke that everyone knows the punchline of: Why do you never take just ONE Baptist fishing? Everyone chuckles. No one denies the truth. Maybe we should own the truth behind the joke and not hide in hypocrisy?
Ok, Baptists and their views/practices concerning Alcohol are the subject for another blog entry.
Sweet almost gives a theology of coffee in his book, The Gospel According to Starbucks. He includes an epilogue about the history of the spiritual significance of coffee. It is intriguing.
So as you go and drink coffee with your spouse at home, with your buddies at the local coffee shop, or with a stranger at Starbucks, take Sweet’s words to heart. Coffee is a communal drink. It is a social lubricant. Use the opportunity to fellowship. Use this communal beverage as a catalyst to connect with someone this week.