Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Jesus Loves Shiht & Coffee

Below is from Leonard Sweet, from an old sermon online here, and retold in "The Gospel According to Starbucks". He says it is his favorite sermon to preach, and(only) once made someone physically sick. By this point he has passed out coffee beans to everybody:

I want to work with you this evening on a certain text. The text is from I Corinthians, so if you have your Bible turn with me to it. But as you do I want you to make sure everybody here has a coffee bean. Does everyone have a bean? If you don't have a bean we are going to get some people to help you get a bean. You need a bean for tonight. Take out your coffee bean. Did you smell it? These have just been opened today. They came straight from Atlanta to here on Friday. Anybody taste it - put it in your mouth? You can do whatever you want to with it, but you are holding in your hand literally the most expensive coffee in the world.

There is only about a couple of thousand pounds of this coffee that comes up on the world market every year. It is called Kopi Luwak coffee. It only comes from one part of the planet. A part of the planet that is known for it's great coffee, Indonesia. The island is Sumatra. That is how we get the name java, from this island.

This coffee bean has an interesting story. This is supposedly the most exquisite, exotic, and is the most expensive coffee in the world. It costs $300 a pound. They sell this coffee by the ounce, the only coffee they sell by the ounce. You have one of these beans. If you want to taste this coffee you are going to have to pool your beans and roast them yourself.

Kopi is Indonesian for coffee, Luwak is Indonesian for the name of how we get this coffee. Luwak is a cat. It is a Civet cat. This is a nocturnal creature, comes out only at night. This cat is about the size of a fox and it has an interesting story. This cat is the Juan Valdez of the animal kingdom. This cat only picks the most perfect coffee cherries to eat. It comes out at night and wanders all over the island of Sumatra and will only pick the most perfect coffee cherries to eat. It would rather starve than to feast on a Kona coffee bean, or a Blue Mountain coffee bean. It will only pick the most perfect coffee beans. It eats those coffee cherries and digests them. In the morning the locals harvest these beans. Everyone of these beans that you are holding has passed through a Civet cat. Anybody put it in your mouth?

When I first told the team here about this, that I wanted to do this, some of them didn't believe me. But Jason can testify that he has found proof that this is a true story by searching the Internet on three different sites. Actually, this coffee came from the only place you can buy it in the United States, in Atlanta. Martinez is the brand of the coffee, $300 a pound for these beans. Each one comes out of the dung of the Civet cat. It has a name - this coffee does - and some of you might imagine what it is. I can't say it. It goes by another name, although I can't say it, I have a person who cuts my hair and she has a little white furry dog called a Shih Tzu.

And so this is Shih Tzu coffee, alright? (:

Isn't it amazing how God works! See, in nature you see this over and over again.
What is honey? The nectar of nature. But what? Bee Shih Tzu. That is what honey is.

In Asian cultures Geishas spend days trying to look beautiful with this white paint. Do you know what this white paint is that they put on their faces? Nightingale Shih Tzu - you got it!

What do mushrooms grow in? What makes them so succulent and tasty? Well, you know what it is!

I want to challenge you to go to the fish market at Meijer and ask the guy behind the counter for a sardine. They will laugh in your face. You see, there is no such thing as a sardine fish. Sardine is a name that we give to trash fish that they put together in a can. There is a halibut, and there is haddock and salmon, but no sardine. It doesn't exist.

My favorite way of expressing how God works and bring nature and theology together is in the dove. The dove does not exist. It is a poetic name for a trash bird called a pigeon. And God chose as the symbol of the Holy Spirit a trash bird. We prettify it by calling it a dove, but really it is a pigeon. Isn't it amazing how God works! Jesus had a mustard seed. I have a coffee bean today. But the whole gospel is right in this coffee bean. It is all right here

Where was Jesus born? Jesus comes to this earth and is born in a trash place of the planet called the city of Bethlehem, the city of David. And where was he born? In a stable. What goes on in a stable? More Shih Tzu. And so what were Jesus's first smells as he was born into this world? What were Jesus's last smells as he exited this world?

Where was he crucified? A place called Golgatha, which was the garbage dump for the city of Jerusalem, the trash place..

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