Wednesday, June 10, 2020

How do you take your coffee?

Coffee, anyone? 
coffee in cup with cream being poured in

Did you know that 83% of Americans drink coffee? Some like it black. Some take it with cream, while others use sugar. I had a friend who would use 8 teaspoons of sugar in his cup of coffee. I always asked him if he wanted some coffee with his sugar. 
I was pretty young when I started drinking coffee. I used to use sugar and cream. Now I just use cream. Some people prefer tea. I like both coffee and tea (and yes, I drink my tea with cream in it too!) When I lived in England, I used to help with their version of a “coffee fellowship” after services in the local Anglican Church. They didn’t have indoor plumbing, but they had a pump at the entry gate of the church cemetery. They would fill an electric kettle and a pitcher with the fresh well water. They would heat the water during the service and then served tea or instant coffee and “biscuits” (cookies) and we would ask, “Do you want it white or black?” (With or without milk). That question, “black or white,” still makes me think, especially right now after this last week. So, my question today is, “How do you take your coffee (or tea)?” It’s all in your perspective, isn’t it?
Looking at our spiritual lives, it’s never “black or white,” is it? Most often we navigate somewhere in between. We all need to figure out what works in our own faith. As people with disabilities, we are all too aware of prejudice, bullying, and discrimination. We know what it is like to be thought of as “less than,” because we are different. The question of being who we are, God’s children, gifted and called by God, sometimes passes us by because we are too busy hiding how God made us.
The Summons is one of those newer hymns that I thought, “It won’t catch on in my church,” but it did. The lyrics are beautiful and the melody haunting. It calls us to think. Whenever I would announce this hymn, I would say, “I hate the title, but it is a great hymn.” One day, I was interrupted by a young lady who is a savant who said, “I like the title. It means we are summoned to serve the Lord of Lords and King of Kings. What more could we ask for?” In these times of turmoil where we are polarized over issues that threaten to undo the very fabric of our faith, we would do well to remember our summons. It isn’t a question of white or black. It’s not just about racism. We need to pray for the human race. We need each other. And we need to heed God’s summons to each of us.
So how do you take your coffee or tea?

Bev Hall is pastor of Caldwell United Methodist Church in Ohio, and a member of the United Methodist Association of Ministers with Disabilities. This article is a devotion presented to an AMD meeting on 5 June 2020. Learn more about the AMD here or follow our Facebook page.

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