Confession: I don’t drink coffee. Although there are other reasons, the bitter aftertaste and the possibility of slowly staining my teeth sealed the deal for me. (Call me a snob, but I’m pretty protective about my teeth and general oral hygiene.) I made a decision when I was about 13 that I didn’t have an interest in coffee, and I was going to be okay with that.
Here’s the rub: Coffeehouses are where it’s at! A childhood friend and I have a standing tradition to meet at a coffee shop every Christmas Eve and catch up. Tough conversations happen in cafes, and awkward first dates happen there. Good grief, I know of someone who slipped her phone number to a barista at a local shop, and today they’re married! What is it with the coffeehouse phenomenon?
I’ve read that coffeehouses go all the way back to the early 1500s, serving as the center of social gatherings where the public could read the paper, organizations conducted business, and people exchanged ideas. By the 17th century in England, they were a “social leveler” of sorts, inviting all people into a common place, regardless of social or economic status.
Based on that concept, I imagine that if Jesus were walking around London back then, he might very much like to duck into a place like that, where folks were learning, connecting, sharing about anything and everything, no matter where they’d been, or where they were going. I think he’d order the house roast, black, and pull up a chair. He loves to relate. He loves to visit and catch up. He loves to share, and to listen.
That’s what happens at coffeehouses, and that’s what we hope to do here. Grab a hot beverage, pull up a chair, get real, and visit our coffeehouse. Even though I have no idea what an “Iced Single Venti Mocha, No Whip” is, praise be to God, I’ve discovered steamers, ciders, and hot chocolates that give me something safe to cradle in my hands and sip on, while I connect with people. So, let’s hear it!