Thursday, June 18, 2009

Good Augustinian Coffee, Part Two

If God gave forth no oracles from His human temple, but communicated everything that He wished to be taught to men by voices from heaven, or through the ministration of angels... love itself, which binds men together in the bond of unity, would have no means of pouring soul into soul, and, as it were, mingling them one with another, if men never learnt anything from their fellow men.
The eunuch who was reading Isaiah the prophet, and did not understand what he read, he was not sent by the apostle to an angel. Nor was it an angel who explained to him what he did not understand. Nor was he inwardly illuminated by the grace of God without the interposition of man. On the contrary, at the suggestion of God, Philip, who did understand the prophet, came to him, and sat with him, in human words, with a human tongue, opened to him the Scriptures. Didn't God talk with Moses? And yet even he, with great wisdom and entire absence of jealous pride, accepted the plan of his father-in-law, a man of a foreign race, for ruling and administering the affairs of the great nation entrusted to him? Moses knew that a wise plan, in whatever mind it might originate, was to be ascribed not to the man who devised it, but to Him who is the Truth, the unchangeable God.-Augustine, On Christian Doctrine, Preface, parts 6-7

I like my coffee shared, savored with friends. Which is to say that we were created in and designed for community and our coffee should contribute to this. Now, the warning must be sounded because talk about "community" easily de-volves into something that God did not intend. A reminder:
You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. 1 Corinthians 10:21 (cf. 5:9-12)
The wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not become partners with them. Ephesians 5:6-7
There is fellowship that we were created for and good coffee contributes to it. There is also a fellowship that we were not created for that good coffee obscures. Augustine would go as far as saying that God's love is shared by means of fellowship with one another, and so infer from scripture that only when our fellowship realizes (actuates?) Him who is the Truth, do we do what God intends for us. Anything else is a distraction: the weather, the NFL, quilting, talking about ministry, American Idol, farming... anything else that draws away from, the unchangeable God, yes even good coffee breaks commandments one and two. Probably all of them in a way. But, praise God, the Biblical example is that each of these things (except maybe Idol. I never was a fan) can, and should be used, utilized, and put under our dominion, in order that God, the God, the Truth might be glorified forever through its sharing. This is why we say grace out loud at meals. This is why I say "God bless you " when you sneeze. This is why we give produce from our garden, why we love, why we buy cars with good gas milage, frisbee golf with friends, paint the baby's room, do the dishes with the kids, and I pray, why we share good coffee at Black Sheep on 12th st.... I need to hear from God through His Word in you.

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