Coffee Beans & Christians

The best place for green coffee beans before roasting is in a drawstring muslin bag.  The plain woven cotton fabric allows the beans to breathe, while the drawstring allows for easy access and quick storage.  Forget to pull the drawstring before picking up the bag, however, and there is nothing quick or easy about the cleanup.

Green coffee beans intended for espresso roasting often are a blend.  Pour a few ounces of beans from the bag and it is easy to see some beans are twice as large as others.  The roaster may include some coffee beans for brightness or life in the blend. This idea is similar to that of carbonation in soda.  Some beans may be included for mouthfeel which imparts density, weight, and texture.  Still other green coffee may be included to add a level of sweetness.  Together the different beans have desirable characteristics that no one bean can offer alone.

Humidity, heat, and length of time in the coffee roaster greatly affect the end product.  The same blend when brewed can be dark and bitter or lightly colored with floral notes.  The importance of the atmosphere around them during roasting cannot be overstated.  Other factors nuance the end result, but do not impact the final product as much.

May 3 the gathering across from city hall had similar characteristics to coffee roasting.  There under the tall trees owned by First Presbyterian Church, God placed people of different ages and churches in a National Day of Prayer bag. For nearly an hour at noon He pulled the drawstring closed. Some would say the prayer purpose was similar to the coffee purpose; to produce a result not possible without blending.

Each person, church, and denomination brings a different life, texture, and sweetness to the blend.   The contrast between sameness and variety is stark. Like a master coffee roaster, the Master drew disparate elements together to create something special.  What a blessing to be part of God’s blend.  The aroma from the prayer brew surely pleased the Master Blender.

Unity, the state of being made one, is not the same as conformity.  Bringing together differences creates something special.  It begins by following the instructions of the Master, not by opening a bag and placing anything from chili peppers to beef jerky inside.  Within the limitations established by the all-knowing and all-loving Father each one is told to bear “with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit”.

We need to come together in one Spirit for the sake of our community and the community/kingdom of God. Are you in?

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