The Gospel According to Starbucks

The Gospel According to Starbucks

2 Chronicles 7:11-16

James C. Denison

Starbucks is clearly America’s favorite coffee shop, with some $8 billion in sales last year. Since I don’t drink coffee, I have never bought their product. And so I was interested to learn that Starbucks prints quotes from customers on their cups. Some are quite interesting, or even inspiring.

But one cup and quote is not so uplifting. It was given to me last Sunday morning after church: “Why in moments of crisis do we ask God for strength and help? As cognitive beings, why would we ask something that may well be a figment of our imaginations for guidance? Why not search inside ourselves for the power to overcome? After all, we are strong enough to cause most of the catastrophes we need to endure.” The quote is signed by Bill Scheel of Ontario, a self-described “modern day nobody.”

I have an answer for Mr. Scheel, and for anyone who is wondering how you can experience God today. We have learned that God Almighty is awesome, to be feared and revered; and that he is intimately interested in each of us. We have discovered that he is both love and judge. Now we learn that he responds to our faith, and yet he is unchanging. In everything he does he is awesome, intimate, love, and judge. He never changes. But the ways he acts can change, depending on us.