It was early November when the latest meeting of the “Angry Christians” club was called to order in a small American town east of the Mississippi. Everyone had come with their list of things to be angry about, and they were ready to discuss.
As the president of the “Angry Christians” club started the meeting, someone burst in.
“You won’t believe it!” the man said. “You simply won’t believe it!”
All of the Angry Christians turned to see a man holding up a red Starbucks cup.
“Christmas is ruined!” the man shouted. “Christmas is gone! America is taking Jesus out of Christmas, and that is obvious because of this red Starbucks cup!”
The Angry Christians’ blood began to boil. They tore up their lists because nothing was worse than this.
“Starbucks hates Christians,” the president said. “Starbucks hates Christians, and it hates Christmas! We have to tell Jesus!”
Meanwhile in heaven, Jesus was sipping on a Starbucks peppermint mocha when one of His angels walked in shaking his head.
“We’ve got another issue from the Angry Christians,” he said. “This time it’s over a Starbucks cup.”
The angel put some paperwork in front of Jesus, who read it, and then sat back in His golden chair. He looked at His own Starbucks cup. Then He looked at the angel.
The angel was tired of waiting for a response, so he said, “Sir, what do we do about this?”
Jesus put His cup down and stood up.
“Is Starbucks a Christian company?” Jesus asked.
“No, sir,” the angel said. “They have no religious affiliation.”
“Did they ever have my name or image on their cups, and now they have removed it?” Jesus asked next.
“No, sir, they simply took off things like trees and snowflakes. They change the design of the cup every year.”
“Christmas is when Christians celebrate my birthday, right?” Jesus said.
“Of course it is, sir,” the angel replied.
“And does a plain red Starbucks cup mean it’s no longer by birthday?”
“Not in the least!”
Jesus was perplexed. “Will any fewer people become Christians this holiday season because snowflakes and trees were removed from this year’s Starbucks holiday cup?”
“I don’t imagine so, Lord,” the angel said. “If the Christians are doing their jobs on earth, they should be the ones leading people to you.”
“Then why,” Jesus said as He picked up His peppermint mocha, “are they letting a cup get them so upset?”
“Well, they feel it just another way America is taking you and your name out of Christmas.”
Jesus looked at the angel and chuckled. “Take ME out of Christmas?”
“Lord,” the angel said, realizing that taking Christ out of Christmas was impossible, “forgive me for even approaching you with this. For I have forgotten that you ARE Christmas. Starbucks can’t remove you from Christmas. America can’t remove you from Christmas. NO ONE can remove you from Christmas because you are God and you ARE Christmas!”
Jesus smiled. “That’s right. And I always will be.”
The angel gathered up the paperwork to bring the news to the Angry Christians, but Jesus stopped him before he walked out.
“And let’s be honest,” Jesus said. “Christians love their coffee. Do you really think Starbucks would purposely try and upset Christians and lose all of that business? Of course not. And if my followers were to boycott every business that didn’t glorify me, I’m not sure they’d have many places to go. Do they research the religious beliefs of each and every place they spend money?”
“Sir, you always have the greatest points!” the angel said, as he left the room.
Jesus sat back down and again looked at the Starbucks cup on His desk.
If the holiday season is about me, how many of my followers are doing things I actually called them to do? Jesus thought. These people who are angry over a cup, are they feeding the poor, visiting the orphans and widows, fighting for justice of the oppressed? Or are they just looking for something to be angry about….
Back on earth the angel returned to the Angry Christians meeting, but no one was there. He hoped maybe they were downtown passing out free coffee to the homeless or visiting the sick in the hospital. Instead, they had all gone home to update their Facebook pages with anti-Starbucks status updates since Starbucks had ruined Christmas.
The angel shed a tear at the actions of the Angry Christians members who were allowing anything to ruin what Christmas really means. “Christmas is still about Jesus,” he said. “It can’t ever NOT be about Jesus.”