Friday, July 15, 2011

Devotions for Tea Time

As our ladies’ Bible study group has been looking forward to enjoying traditional English tea together, I began thinking about the custom of sharing tea with friends and what it represents.

In addition to quenching our thirst, tea revives, comforts, warms and relaxes us all at the same time. It reminds me of how the Holy Spirit lovingly cares for every believer by His indwelling presence. God promises that all who trust Him as Savior will have an inner source of “rivers of living water” (John 7:38)

John 4: 14 [W]hosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

A hearty cup of hot tea can give us our second wind when our spirits sag, but God Himself has promised to revive our spirit and our heart when we turn to Him in sorrow and repentance for our sins, and in the humility of realizing that without Him, we can do nothing (John 15:5).

Isaiah 57:15 For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.

Tea not only comforts us when we are feeling cast down, but offering another person a cup of tea is a comforting gesture of kindness and hospitality. It brings to mind images of a grandmother inviting her sick grandchild to snuggle under a warm blanket in her rocking chair while sipping tea, or a family allowing a stranger to come in out of the storm and warm himself by the fire as a cup of hot tea takes the chill off his bones. It reminds me that God comforts us in our sorrow and trials by showing us His tender mercies, so that we can comfort others who are suffering.

2 Corinthians 1:3 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.

When we are tense, a cozy cup of tea can relax us, especially when we take the time to enjoy the ceremony of serving and drinking tea from fine china, with all the accompaniments, in the presence of friends and brothers and sisters in Christ. No matter what is making us anxious, we as believers have our own source of the peace of God that passes all understanding and keeps our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7).

2 Corinthians 13:11 Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.

So let’s enjoy our tea as a time of sweet Christian fellowship, and use the occasion to pause to remember and thank God for His many blessings.

1 Corinthians 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

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