Just Coffee, Joseph

 Dynasty! In the 1980’s my wife and I watched it religiously. It was a series about an oil tycoon and his family, fashioned in the Dallas genre and modeled in the soap opera formula where smart people make dumb choices. They had a butler named Joseph. Every morning he would set up a grand buffet with: bacon, eggs, Danish and pancakes. Without fail, each person would find their way down to breakfast, see the banquet all set up and say, “Just coffee, Joseph.” It was so regular that I used to mouth the lines along with the actors. “You poor people,” I thought, “You have all this and you can’t even sit down for an omelet.”

 I guess it’s all a matter of what you’re into…priorities, I mean. They were already into their day even before they showered. Breakfast, the most important meal of the day according to an Iowa study, was not on the docket. Coffee and off we go to plow through the morning, busy making dumb choices probably due to hypoglycemia. I’m not harping on breakfast. It’s the idea of having so much, yet choosing so little.

I think that for many of us, Church is the uneaten banquet. It’s something you do for an hour each week. We go in, sit down, stand up, sing a hymn, listen to the pastor and participate in communion.   Nothing touches us deeply, no changes, no confession… just a wafer, Jesus. We do it week after week, year after year, if we go at all, and treat it with so little regard because it’s always there. Just as the Hebrews whined in the desert, “All we have to eat is this…this…manna.” This manna that shows the loving provisions of a personal God, which miraculously appears on time daily in the morning without fail. They didn’t have a relationship with the Giver so His provision was held in contempt. Our religion is predictably redundant, which renders the God of the Universe…irrelevant and boring. The key is that religion IS boring. God is all about the relationship.

All relationships take effort. Bible and prayer are no exception. The payoff is phenomenal for the person willing to cultivate a connection with the Almighty. Faith becomes an adventure, worship a celebration and the wisdom of God helps us deal with life. Communion reaches a higher level when you seek God as a lover. I often thought one day instead of setting up the breakfast buffet Joseph should just stack a couple of cups on a table, plug in a Keurig, and leave a note, “This is all you’ll get because this is all you ever want.” Let’s be done with lesser things. No more excuses. Come to breakfast.

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