With Room- "Slow Roasted"
How do we live with room for humanity?
Pastor Terry Inman
There’s a big Starbucks Holiday cup controversy brewing on social media. An evangelist went viral denouncing Starbucks “war on Christmas”.
They removed the holiday symbols from this year’s all red cup. They say it’s to be a little more simple and inclusive. Even Donald Trump suggested boycotting his own very successful Starbucks in Trump Towers.
Now were not talking about angels, kings or crèches they just took off the snowflakes, ornaments, and reindeer—suggesting that we doddle our own holiday art on the blank red cup. Personally I think it’s a smoke screen for bad coffee. At least it’s getting a lot of free promotion.
Dunkin donuts is getting into the act by comparing their joyful Christmas cups with Starbucks. Their coffee is even worse.
Anyway we decided to get into the act and doddle our own Christmas cup with a new Jesus logo! Most of the time I brew my own.
I have this new bpa free, slow dripper. It brews one cup at a time. It is billed as a full immersion brewing method. You pour boiling water over a fine grind then let it set for four minutes. It is spring loaded to filter the coffee into the cup once sitting on the brim. It takes some extra time but make a much deeper and richer brew!
Last week we talked about making room for spirituality. Today let’s talk about a “slow roasted” life—one that’s paced to make room for humanity. People make our lives much deeper and richer.
Two of my coffee snob sons took me to “Sweet Maria’s” in West Oakland. There you can buy imported green coffee beans and roast them yourself. They slow roast them in a vented popcorn popper.
They say slow roasted single origin beans are the best. They have a mellow aromatic flavor. Some roasters heat it up and speed it up. The coffee comes out tasting like burnt bike tires. So they do their own!
Coffee snobs are an outrageously self-righteous class of caffeinators? They would never set foot in Starbucks. You know you’re a coffee snob if you brew your own beans or you have your own barista who knows you and your signature brew.
True coffee snobs cringe at the thought of milk in their coffee. They have their own special cup. Don’t even think about using it for cereal or soup.
They are so over latte art. They instagram hip photos of their coffee creations. They read and write coffee blogs. They travel with their own coffee paraphernalia—a hand crank burr grinder and a cool coffee press.
You will never see them near a normal coffee pot. If you tell them you’re really into coffee they politely smile at you and smugly say “that’s nice”.
We could learn something from these coffee elitists. As believers we could be more discriminating about life’s choices. Living with room is counter to our fast-paced and self-absorbed culture. Take a “slow-roasted” pace—slow enough to savor the flavor!
Slow down and make room for humanity--create space for kindness, compassion, and mercy. In our culture our value is connected to our status and success. But a slow-roasted life is steeped in the awareness that everything we have and everything we are comes from God.
Busy doesn't mean spiritual. Busy doesn't mean important. Busy doesn't mean valuable. God’s time is valuable he invests it in humanity.
Our culture will busy us with the good things, leaving no room for best things. Paul who lived in challenging times talks about time management.
“See then that you walk (live) circumspectly (carefully or thoughtfully), not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” Eph. 5.15-17 NIV
Redeeming time is to “buy up” or “buy back” time. “Time” here is the ancient Greek term (Kairos). It is a specific time--an “opportunity or occasion”. Paul is urging that we take full advantage of every opportunity.
Benjamin Franklin said, “lost time is never found again”.
Steve Jobs said “our most precious resource is not money, its time”.
Nelson Mandela said, “We must use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always right to do right”. It is always right to spend time on relationships.
The Latin phrase (Carpe Diem) “seize the day” captures the ideal that
we live every moment mindful of the highest and best use of our time.
Paul says if we are “wise” we will make the best use of every opportunity, we will capture every moment. It is un-wise to spend time foolishly—especially sense we live in an “evil” or wicked day.
According to Paul the wise investment of our time, is too “understand what the Lord’s will is”. He then gives some examples of the Lord’s will. He contrasts wise and foolish time management.
Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. (excessive indulgence) Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Eph. 5.17-19 NIV
Paul’s era was much like ours—with an excessive amount of drinking and partying. Princeton University did a recent study on the rising death rate of 45 to 55 year-old males in America. There are several factors but the most alarming is a dramatic increase in suicide, and drug and alcohol related deaths.
In this highly competitive corporate world, young executives are drugging up to achieve and drinking down to unwind. Paul’s answer to sobriety is more than abstinence—it is an alternative. He urges us to be filled or satisfied with the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is not an intoxicant that steals meaningful time and purpose—He is a supernatural person that inspires the best in our life.
Paul also tells us how to stay filled with the Spirit. This is one of the many “one-another” expressions in scripture. We are filled with the Spirit as we speak and sing together. Corporate worship is so enriching and inspiring.
In the short letter to Jude there is a whole litany of the abuses of corrupt leaders and their followers. Paul says, they were godless and immoral imposters. They polluted their own bodies, rejected authority, and even slandered angels.
Paul says, “These are the men…who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit. But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith praying in the Holy Spirit.” Jude 19-20 NIV
Some in Paul’s era separated their spiritual life from their physical life. They were called “Gnostics”. They thought as long as they had a Gnosis— “knowledge” of God they could do what they wanted with their time.
Paul addresses this heresy; You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is beneficial. 1 Cor. 10:23 NIV
Just because we can do something doesn't mean we should. If we were asked the question, “Can we do this next Saturday?” we might ask ourselves. “Am I free?” “Do I have the time?” “Do I want to do this?"
There are better questions to ask when we are trying to find out the difference between the good and the best. Here are some examples…
- In light of the fact that I haven’t spent time with my kids this week is it wise to make another appointment.
- In light of my life priorities, is it wise to blow off the night in front of the TV?
- In light of having just a couple years left with my kids, it is wise for me to start a new career.
- In light of my spiritual needs, is wise to skip worship this Sunday?
The question is not is it right or wrong or can we do it but is it wise? Living life with room means saying no to the many good things, so we can say yes to the best things.
When we make unwise choices about our opportunities, four things get squeezed out: Time for God—Time for rest—Time for relationships—Time for God’s purposes.
So let me repeat Paul’s advice about simplifying and prioritizing our time to make room for God’s best. “See then that you walk (live) circumspectly (carefully or thoughtfully), not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” Eph. 5.15-17 NIV
Making room for the right things will give us more opportunities to engage in the things that really matter. People matter to God. When we make room for spirituality we also naturally make room for humanity.
We will find ourselves more compassionate, sympathetic, kind, forgiving, merciful and serving. We feel so much better about our choices when we invest our time in other people.
Here’s how Paul says it in his letter to the Philippians…“If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Phil. 2.1-4 NIV
The bible says to whom much is given much is required. This is one of those “if-then” equations or injunctions.
If you have any encouragement from bring united with Christ
If you have any comfort from his love
If you have any fellowship with the spirit
If you have any tenderness and compassion
“Then” make my joy complete by reciprocating with three things that make room for humanity.
Live in compatibility. “Be like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.” Unity is not uniformity its harmony.
Live in humility. “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.”
Live in generosity. “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
What is the Holy Spirit saying to us about the people in our lives? Are they getting squeezed out? Don’t let making a living interfere with making a life! Who needs our attention right now?
When we make room for our Father’s deep love in our lives we will have plenty of room for loving others. His love will pour out of us like a mellow slow roasted brew. Let’s ask God to help us make room for humanity.