My Baby is Not Your Red Cup
I’ve had just about enough of this red Starbucks cup hoopla. It’s. A. Cup. And, this whole “red only” cup issue is a first world problem. Instead of complaining about how a swanky coffee shop’s cups are decorated, how about buying coffee for a stranger, or, better yet, a pair of warm mittens? I don’t think baby Jesus drank coffee nor cared whether or not it would have words or pictures on it. Unless it was His name all over it (which is wasn’t, as far as I know). (Just a quick side note: I’m not overly against Starbucks or their red cups. I’m just saddened by how so many of us think a cup is more worth fighting for than the souls of those around us.)
Speaking of baby Jesus, I’ve been thinking a lot this last week about what Mary was asked by God to do. To be asked, rather, appointed, to be the mother of the Saviour of the world is, well, an insanely massive responsibility. I don’t know that I could have done what she did. I don’t know that I could have agreed to carry such an important person who would save the world from their imminent deaths, to guard the heart of the boy who had the power to change humanity’s fate. The boy who would be the one and only link between humanity and its eternity with the most powerful God in the history of the universe.
What if she miscarried? What if he fell and hit his head on one of his father’s work projects (carpentry nails = ow)? What if she made a wrong decision, at some point down the line, that got in the way of who he needed to be? What if she wasn’t able to support him in all of the ways a mother should support her child? What if she decided one day that she just couldn’t handle the pressure?
In addition to all of a mother’s insecurities, her toddler was hunted. There were others who knew of his potential power and role and wanted him dead. Dead. A child. A little harmless child who probably still pooped in his diaper (you know, if he had a diaper). And then, to top it off, the king, when he realized no one would tell him where this little boy was, ordered all little boys dead. All little diaper-clad boys dead because of one little boy who was destined to save humanity.
Imagine, for a moment, you are this little boy’s mother. All of the women in your hometown are mourning the deaths of their 0-2 year old sons because the king wants to find your son and kill him. You probably wouldn’t know who you can trust. You probably wouldn’t want to be blamed for their children’s deaths. Their sons are dead because you and your husband have protected and hidden your son from an insecure, angry, king. Your son, you, and your husband, are now probably the target of so many angry families.
It’s a good thing your husband paid attention to what God said to him in a dream, and ran off with you and your son to another town until the king was no longer living. It’s a good thing both you and your husband trusted God. Because if you hadn’t? Your baby could be dead, too. The one sent to save humanity might not have lived past the age of 2.
And that is a huge, huge responsibility.
At what point in this part of humanity’s history did a coffee cup’s exterior start to matter? I don’t understand how Christians, and non-Christians, for that matter, can claim that taking “Joy” or whatever was previously on those cups off of them is affecting salvation for people. How a luxury item’s appearance in North America changes anything about what happened in history, about how two young parents had to hide their son from the man in charge of where they lived, so that he could live long enough to grow into the man God sent him to be: the Saviour of all those who would accept, love, and trust Him.
It’s a red cup. How have we reduced salvation and hope to the decorations on a Starbucks cup?
We’re missing the point.
…And I can only imagine what His mother would say to us.
How dare you reduce my baby to the ink on a rich man’s disposable cup? Do you not know how valuable His life was, even as an infant? Do you not understand that our king hunted Him in order to kill Him so that his own power would not be threatened? Do you not understand my child’s role in the history of mankind, that He spent His life spreading a message of salvation and hope for everyone who would accept Him as king of his or her heart? That because of Him, your soul is no longer destined to die?
How dare you reduce him to the ink on your rich man’s cup.