Coffee starts out as a cherry that grows on small evergreen trees or shrubs that can grow up to 16 feet tall. Coffee farmers prune coffee trees back though to keep them between 5 and 7 feet tall so that it is easier for them to pick the ripe red cherries by hand. The coffee bean that we are all most familiar with is the seed that is inside the fruit. The seed is removed, dried and roasted by master roasters like Ian Boyle at Good Sense Coffee who roasts all of our Mad Scientist Coffees to produce the wonderful smelling coffee beans that we grind and brew each morning.
Jesus talked about fruit and farming in John chapter 15 in the Bible. He said that God is like a Gardner and that He is like a vine. We are like branches that are grafted into the Vine so that we can receive nourishment from Jesus to produce fruit. Jesus said that God prunes the branches that produce fruit so that they will produce even more fruit, but that branches that don’t produce fruit are cut off from the life-giving nourishment that Jesus offers and are cast away to wither and die.
Jesus doesn’t want any branches to wither and die. In fact, Jesus came to earth willingly because He desperately loves us. He died and endured our punishment on a cross to pay the penalty for our sins, not His own. He proved that He was the promised Savior foretold by the prophets in the Old Testament when God raised Him from the dead.
Because of Jesus we can experience the abundant and fruit-filled life that Jesus promised us (John 10:10). Each one of us has been invited to be grafted into the Vine, Jesus. If you are not currently enjoying this rich, purpose-filled life I would invite you to:
1) Admit to God that you are a sinner and are living a fruitless life.
2) Ask Jesus to graft you into Him so that you can experience a new purpose and the abundant life that He promised us.
3) Reach out to a pastor, family member or friend that is already following Jesus and is producing the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control in their lives and tell them about your decision to follow Jesus (Galatians 5:22-23).
We are not meant to live out our Christian journey alone. We are called to live out our faith journey in community, so please consider joining a Bible believing church and you will start to experience the abundant and fruitful life that Jesus promised through the sweet presence of God’s Holy Spirit in your life. Shalom dear friend.
Most responsible roasters are careful to buy Fair Trade coffee. This coffee is called Fair Trade because the coffee farmers are paid a higher than market price for their coffee. Fair Trade coffee is picked by hand to make sure that only the ripe coffee cherries are harvested and it is a lot of back-breaking work.
When you buy a bag of coffee from Mad Scientist Coffee, Good Sense Coffee or P-Rex Coffee you are paying more than you would pay for a cheap bag of coffee in the store, but you are making sure that the farmers that made your cup of coffee possible are being paid a fair wage for their work. Because the farmers are paid a premium price, you are are assured of getting the best beans that the farmers can produce.
Although coffee farmers are getting paid a fair price for their coffee beans, I can’t help but wonder how much money the farmer gets every time we pay $6 for a quality latte or mocha espresso drink. Is buying Fair Trade coffee beans the best that we can do? The baristas work hard to prepare your drinks and the left over change that you drop into the tip jar is way more than the coffee farmers were paid for their back-breaking work.
What if coffee shops around the world, who depend on premium coffee beans from the poor farmers, decided to band together and give 10 cents from the sale of every cup of coffee back to the farmers as part of a profit charing initiative called Coffee psi (profit sharing initiative)?
What if a fund was created with a board of directors to manage and oversee this fund to make sure that 100% of the money collected from the coffee shops made it back to the farmers? What if some of the money was made available to the farmers as low interest micro loans to help them buy equipment, land, and ensure that sustainable farming practices are utilized so that we will still have our coffee 20, 200 years from now? What if some of the money went to organizations like Seed of Hope who have invested their lives in helping and doing life with the people who grow our coffee? It is something to think about as we sip our coffee this morning isn’t it?
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ – Matthew 25:40-45