Monday, October 3, 2016

Drink black coffee

Coffee is an interesting little bean. When properly processed, roasted, and brewed it releases a complex mix of flavors and sensations that shine unique clues about where the bean comes from, how it's fruit was handled, and gives a glimpse into the nature of its cultivator. Everything you need to know about that bean can be found through the sipping of the cup.

This is what goes through my mind as we study through Revelation 17, as the great prostitute of Babylon sits with her golden cup. In the cup is a brew of immorality and abomination mixed in with a wine of the blood of the martyrs of Jesus, the blood of the prophets and saints. I'll admit, my mind took off in a different direction as I was thinking through this passage as it had been preached.

The prostitute takes pleasure from and enjoys the intermingled flavors of immorality and abomination mixed with the righteous blood of the followers of Christ. These flavors cannot come together naturally, they must be opposed to one another. From the perspective of the one drinking, immorality and abomination must be the sweet sugar and the smooth cream added to what has to be the comparatively bitter, astringent righteousness of the coffee of the blood.

From this view, the stronger, richer, and fuller the coffee is made, the more of her "sweetness and cream" must be added. She pours in more and more abomination, adds another heaping spoonful of immorality, trying to stifle the flavors of the coffee. She cannot stand the flavor notes of  the righteousness of the redeemed that she has killed and will continue to kill. But the cup is hers to drink. She must drink it in full. As the blood continues to build through her destruction, she pours out more destruction, creating the cyclic nature of the current age. The culmination of which will see her cup overflowing with such debauchery and decadence that many will taste of it and claim it to be delicious because the bitterness of righteousness is so muted that surely this brew is as it was always intended to be. The natural man is a sucker for a sweet drink, even if part of him feels it may be destructive to his reality.

The Christian, however, does not desire the smooth, sweet creaminess of the whore's brew. We desire the hot, black wonder of the righteousness of Christ which can only be found outside the cup of Babylon. We seek the undefiled, intricate, and subtle differences found in the pure cup. We desire for our lives to be poured out into a brew that is distinct to the soil we were cultivated in, that shows the care of the cultivator, and the richness of the love that caused us to grow. We look for our tree to bear a fruit that is unique, filled with a flavor that is singularly our own, yet that is united to trees that bear a similar fruit. We want to be filled with notes of flavor so significant that when the prostitute drinks of our blood, she knows it is from our veins and that it was born of the work of Christ. We want to be the reason she feels that her cup requires more of her "sweetner" and and extra dose of her "cream".

The righteousness of the people of God's innumerable multitude will and should taste bitter to those who desire the unrighteousness of the Babylonian brew. Our righteousness should be such that more immorality and abomination must be added to attempt to mute our flavors. And, if I understand Paul, this should see contradictory to those who desire sweetness, it should seem absolutely foolish to those who have not been given a desire for the taste of the pure goodness of God.

Christian, drink the dark, black coffee of the glory of God. Taste the notes of his goodness and beauty. Seek to be cultivated by His hand. Live your life in a way that will alter the taste of the cup being consumed by our adversary. You are not called to taste like the world.

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