We were at the airport the other day and we stopped at the Starbucks to get a cup of mind altering coffee. We made some comment about the pretty red cups. The girl taking our order said, “Everybody says we hate Christmas and that’s not true.” She didn’t say it mad. She said it happy, perky as only a barista who had been inhaling coffee for far too long can be.
It’s true. They don’t hate Christmas. The red cups are, well, red. Bright red. Given the context of the season they say ‘Christmas’. At least to me they do. They had little red cup Christmas ornaments for sale. They have their Christmas blend coffee. Our local Starbucks has their windows decorated with decals of Holly leaves with pretty red berries. This morning they had an advent calendar for sale in the window.
Our barista’s comment got me to thinking. What if we see the red cups not as one more nail in the coffin of our culture but as an opportunity for a conversation? What if we see it not as more fuel for our anger but as a chance to really connect with another person?
Twenty years ago you could ask the person next to you if he or she was a Christian and you might not have gotten a straight answer. They would talk about how they were raised or how they were trying to be a good person or ‘I know I should be going to church’. Rarely would anybody fess up to being agnostic or atheist. But the world has changed.
Maybe it’s time we took a step back and looked around. The world has indeed changed. Now it’s common to find people who are openly, proudly agnostic or atheist, even some who are openly hostile to Christianity. We see those people as the enemy but they are not. They are souls who need Jesus, souls that Jesus commissioned us the reach.
Maybe it’s time for a new paradigm for evangelism. In your face confrontation won’t work. I don’t think that demanding our rights, demanding a return to our Christian culture is the answer.
Maybe it’s time for a conversation.