Why I Couldn’t Be Happier About Starbucks Red Cup This Year

starbucks red cup
Many Christians are in an uproar about Starbucks red cups this year. Why? You may wonder? It’s because these notoriously and long awaited “red” cups, which signify the Christmas season, came out blank this year. Just a plain red cup. (Unless one degree of ombre counts as a design.)

In years past, these cups have had a variety of designs such as “minimalist snowflakes and hand-drawn reindeer, to winking snowmen and decorative ornaments.” (CNBC.com) But this year: nothing.

Some are calling it a “war on Christmas.” Some are saying this is Starbucks attempt at politcal correctness. Some are boycotting. One former radio evangelist, Joshua Feuerstein said, “Starbucks removed Christmas from their cups because they hate Jesus.” Therefore, he is urging people to ask the baristas to write “Merry Christmas” on their cups instead of their names. (CNBC.com)

Well, maybe Starbucks hates Jesus. And maybe not. But according to Starbucks vice president of Design & Content, Jeffrey Fields, here’s why they did it:

“In the past, we have told stories with our holiday cups designs, this year we wanted to usher in the holidays with a purity of design that welcomes all of our stories.”

I love this. I love this because Starbucks doesn’t even know what they just did. The cups are blank. A blank canvas for you. And me. Our own stories are welcome this year.

So, what will yours say?

When the apostle Paul went to Athens, he was deeply distressed because the city was filled with idols. His heart was grieved for them, because they didn’t know God. He even found one altar dedicated “TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.” Talk about discouraging. He said to them, “For as I walked around and carefully observed your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship, and this I am going to proclaim to you.” (Acts 17:23)

Paul saw the altar to the “unknown god” not as an offense, but as an opportunity. To proclaim. The gospel.

And it’s no different for us today.

The Starbucks blank red cup, is more or less, a tribute: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. Or to no God. Or to whatever you want to believe. They don’t really know. You get to choose.

They don’t know what Christmas is about. They don’t know what Christ is about.

But Christ is about loving and redeeming broken people.

He’s not about winking snowmen, or presents, or ornaments, or Santa.

If you are reading this, you are probably somewhat in touch with the culture. If your conviction is to boycott Starbucks, then do that. But if your conviction is to engage with your culture, to share the gospel, then do that. And give a voice to your blank red cup.

Not by asking your barista to write “Merry Christmas,” on it. (You will most likely just annoy them. Have you ever worked in food-service?) But write something yourself. And share it. On Facebook. Or Instagram. Or Twitter. Spread your message loud and clear.

And as for those baristas, please be nice to them. Some of them might need to hear the gospel. And that’s a whole lot messier than shouting “Merry Christmas!” in a crowded Starbucks. And this might mean actually sitting down with one of those baristas and having a real conversation. (It will take longer than writing a hashtag. And it’s a lot more risky.)

You might get some blank stares. After all, even when the apostle Paul started sharing the gospel in Athens the philosphers said, “What is this babbler trying to say?” (Acts 17:18) The gospel can be awkward. But it is the power of God, and it’s what saves us. And what better time than Christmas?

Maybe your whole message can’t fit on your cup. But it’s a place to start. Whether it’s on social media, or with a friend in person.

It’s simply sitting down and looking a fellow sinner in the eyes, and allowing him or her to look back into yours. It’s about explaining that we’re all sinners, we’re all broken, and we’re all desperate. For Jesus. And that’s what Christmas is about. It’s about a God who broke into our world to rescue us–from ourselves. From our sin. And from His wrath.

Jesus came to save desperate people. Like me. Like you. And Christmas is about sinners crying out together for rescue. Because God knows, we need it. We need Him.

You can shake your fist at Starbucks. Or you can thank them. For a golden opportunity. For a voice.

So this is your chance, to tell Starbucks, to tell your friends, to tell the world what you want your cup to say. You design the cup this year. Writers, artists, people of God–make a mark. On your cup.

We have a dying world. Dying in sin and who will spend eternity in a Christ-less hell. Time to share the gospel. Time to share your story. Time to share the Light of the whole world.

Time to redeem the red cups.

The world is waiting. Not for a silent night. Not for a boycott.

But for the sons and daughters of God, to lift up their voice. To the unknown God. To tell them who He is.

What if we filled the Facebook newsfeeds with these red cups? With our stories? With our testimonies? With our artwork? What if we poured out our praise on these red cups?

If we don’t lift up our voice, the rocks will cry out in our place.

So what will yours say?

Write it, draw it, create it. Take a picture and post it to your own social media platform. Add #StarbucksforJesus or #Redcupsredeemed

Here’s mine.

starbucks red cup

Your turn.

Love,

Rebekah

Red Cups Redeemed, Thank You Starbucks

starbucks red cup

Many Christians are in an uproar about Starbucks red cups this year. Why? You may wonder? It’s because these notoriously and long awaited “red” cups, which signify the Christmas season, came out blank this year. Just a plain red cup. (Unless one degree of ombre counts as a design.)

In years past, these cups have had a variety of designs such as “minimalist snowflakes and hand-drawn reindeer, to winking snowmen and decorative ornaments.” (CNBC.com) But this year: nothing.

Some are calling it a “war on Christmas.” Some are saying this is Starbucks attempt at politcal correctness. Some are boycotting. One former radio evangelist, Joshua Feuerstein said, “Starbucks removed Christmas from their cups because they hate Jesus.” Therefore, he is urging people to ask the baristas to write “Merry Christmas” on their cups instead of their names. (CNBC.com)

Well, maybe Starbucks hates Jesus. And maybe not. But according to Starbucks vice president of Design & Content, Jeffrey Fields, here’s why they did it:

“In the past, we have told stories with our holiday cups designs, this year we wanted to usher in the holidays with a purity of design that welcomes all of our stories.”

I love this. I love this because Starbucks doesn’t even know what they just did. The cups are blank. A blank canvas for you. And me. Our own stories are welcome this year. 

So, what will yours say?

When the apostle Paul went to Athens, he was deeply distressed because the city was filled with idols. His heart was grieved for them, because they didn’t know God. He even found one altar dedicated “TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.” Talk about discouraging. He said to them, “For as I walked around and carefully observed your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship, and this I am going to proclaim to you.” (Acts 17:23)

Paul saw the altar to the “unknown god” not as an offense, but as an opportunity. To proclaim. The gospel.

And it’s no different for us today.

The Starbucks blank red cup, is more or less, a tribute: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. Or to no God. Or to whatever you want to believe. They don’t really know. You get to choose.

They don’t know what Christmas is about. They don’t know what Christ is about.

But Christ is about loving and redeeming broken people. 

He’s not about winking snowmen, or presents, or ornaments, or Santa.

If you are reading this, you are probably somewhat in touch with the culture. If your conviction is to boycott Starbucks, then do that. But if your conviction is to engage with your culture, to share the gospel, then do that. And give a voice to your blank red cup.

Not by asking your barista to write “Merry Christmas,” on it. (You will most likely just annoy them. Have you ever worked in food-service?) But write something yourself. And share it. On Facebook. Or Instagram. Or Twitter. Spread your message loud and clear.

And as for those baristas, please be nice to them. Some of them might need to hear the gospel. And that’s a whole lot messier than shouting “Merry Christmas!” in a crowded Starbucks. And this might mean actually sitting down with one of those baristas and having a real conversation. (It will take longer than writing a hashtag. And it’s a lot more risky.)

You might get some blank stares. After all, even when the apostle Paul started sharing the gospel in Athens the philosphers said, “What is this babbler trying to say?” (Acts 17:18) The gospel can be awkward. But it is the power of God, and it’s what saves us. And what better time than Christmas?

Maybe your whole message can’t fit on your cup. But it’s a place to start. Whether it’s on social media, or with a friend in person.

It’s simply sitting down and looking a fellow sinner in the eyes, and allowing him or her to look back into yours. It’s about explaining that we’re all sinners, we’re all broken, and we’re all desperate. For Jesus. And that’s what Christmas is about. It’s about a God who broke into our world to rescue us–from ourselves. From our sin. And from His wrath.

Jesus came to save desperate people. Like me. Like you. And Christmas is about sinners crying out together for rescue. Because God knows, we need it. We need Him.

You can shake your fist at Starbucks. Or you can thank them. For a golden opportunity. For a voice.

So this is your chance, to tell Starbucks, to tell your friends, to tell the world what you want your cup to say. You design the cup this year. Writers, artists, people of God–make a mark. On your cup.

We have a dying world. Dying in sin and who will spend eternity in a Christ-less hell. Time to share the gospel. Time to share your story. Time to share the Light of the whole world.

Time to redeem the red cups.

The world is waiting. Not for a silent night. Not for a boycott.

But for the sons and daughters of God, to lift up their voice. To the unknown God. To tell them who He is.

What if we filled the Facebook newsfeeds with these red cups? With our stories? With our testimonies? With our artwork? What if we poured out our praise on these red cups?

If we don’t lift up our voice, the rocks will cry out in our place.

So what will yours say?

Write it, draw it, create it. Take a picture and post it to your own social media platform. Add #StarbucksforJesus or #Redcupsredeemed

Here’s mine.

starbucks red cup

Your turn.

Love,

Rebekah

#StarbucksforJesus #redcupsredeemed

Christmas is for Desperate People

IMG_0648.JPG
To My Daughter on Christmas,
I realize Christmas may seem a little confusing right now: This week you saw a glowing tree magically appear in our living room. (Then you were yelled at for touching it.) We went to the mall story-time and you got paper antlers and jingle bells to wear. Christmas music blared and as we strolled away, you saw a very long line of kids waiting to sit on an old man’s lap. Later that night, I dressed you in your new red and pink reindeer pajamas–but you kept calling them, “puppies.”

I know you are not yet two, but even at twenty-seven, this holiday can still make your head swirl. But someday, I hope you can see what Christmas is really about, and that is this: Christmas is for desperate people.

Last night, as you pulled all the ornaments within your reach off our Christmas tree, you kept pointing to one in particular you called, “baby.” We haven’t talked about this “baby” yet. But He is the reason we have Christmas at all.

See, a long time ago, the world was full of desperate people. And it was dark, and sad, and in need of a Rescuer. Remember how I told you I used to cry because I had to wait a very long time for you to be born? The earth was waiting for a baby too. But this was no ordinary baby. He was the Rescuer. He would rescue people from death, and despair, and darkness. Because the people loved darkness, they kept running further and further away from God. They didn’t know His love yet. What they needed to see, was a God who would run towards them. A God who would come close. At any cost.

God had been silent a very long time. But two thousand years ago, in a barn, in the starlight, in the straw, His teenage momma pushed out His warm, slippery, little body. And the moment this “baby” let out His first cry–the silence was broken forever. Between God and men.

And as His mom held Him on her chest and felt His skin against hers, she breathed out His name, “Jesus.” “Immanuel.” It means, “God is with us.”

And He was.

God had come. Skin to skin. Breath to breath. And soon, blood for blood. For the desperate. For the sinners. And that’s what that “baby” means. That was the beginning. Of God coming close to us. Of us being brought close to Him. Forever.

Sadly, some people don’t really know why we have Christmas. They try very hard to be happy and make it mean something, but they don’t know that the only reason to be happy is that the Rescuer made a way for us to be saved from going to a very bad place, and that we can be close to God now. Forever.

I’m telling you this because you are going to see big presents and flashing lights, and hear Christmas carols, and there will be cookies, and ugly sweaters, and people rushing around buying gifts. There will be little Santa’s and big inflatable ones, and reindeer, and movies, and ads for toys, and itchy dresses, and family photos. And I give you full permission to enjoy those things. But those are extra. They are not the main thing. Christmas is about Jesus.

And He came to save people enslaved to sin. To free people from addiction. He came to cleanse sinners in His blood and clothe the naked in His righteousness. He came to take shame away. He came to feed the hungry with good things, to make rich the poor, to set captives free. He came to give Living Water to the thirsty, so they may not thirst any more. He came for brokeness and unhealable pain. He came for the lowly. And for those who thought they were really holy. He came for people who would break their marriage vows. And for all the people who would be wounded by it. He came for girls that would take off their clothes for attention, and men who would take off their rings for satisfaction. He came for people with cancer, who would be healed in the life to come. He came for abused people, and sexually confused people. He came for depressed and anxious people, and those paralyzed constantly by fear. And shame.

And He came for people like me. Because, though you don’t know yet, you will know soon that: I am desperate. And I say this with tears: I desperately need Jesus. I need Him. He is life to me.

Me and your dad: we are desperate people. We are weak and sinful. We get angry. We do bad things, we think bad things. But in Jesus, we find an invitation to come. Not because of who we are, or what we’ve done, but because of who He is, and what He’s done. Are you desperate? I pray one day you will be.

Because of this you can be sure—He is coming back again. Not as a Baby this time, but as King. And He’s coming for the desperate. And only for the desperate. “For all those who have longed for His appearing.” (2 Tim. 4:8) And when He comes back He won’t appear as weak and lowly, but exalted and glorious. King of the earth. He will ride in on a great white horse, wearing many diadems, and He will be called: Faithful and True. On his robe and on his thigh will be written: King of kings and Lord of lords. And all the armies of heaven will ride in behind Him. And all nations and people will fall down before Him. And when He lifts His voice, the only ones who will rise will be, the desperate. Desperate for Jesus. And they shall enter the Wedding Supper of the Lamb and be satisfied forever. And nothing shall separate them from His love.

For God himself will be with them.

Immanuel.

So if you want to celebrate Christmas, my dear, we shall. We will celebrate the only way we truly can: as desperate people. As those who long for His appearing.

Love,
Mom

Photo Credit/Teamaskins