Saturday, June 23, 2018

Tea for Two or Three or More

Photo by Kat Sommers 2010

As we saw last time, how tea is blended and brewed has many parallels to the Christian life. Whether hot or iced, tea needs to be immersed in hot or boiling water for just the right amount of time and steeped at the perfect temperature so that it brews to perfection, for our optimal enjoyment.

Paradoxically, tea can warm or cool us, and it can revive or relax us. A hearty cup of hot black tea containing caffeine and health-enhancing nutrients can give us our second wind when our bodies are tired and our spirits sag, whether at breakfast or in the afternoon, as is the English custom.

God Himself has promised to revive our spirit and our heart (Psalm 85:6; 138:7), to empower us (2 Corinthians 12:9), and to give us all we need to carry out the mission He has appointed for us (Philippians 4:19). We should seek Him first thing in the morning (Proverbs 8:17; Isaiah 26:9), and throughout the day as we need an added boost (1 Chronicles 16:11), for only He can satisfy our thirst.

Psalm 63:1 O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is.

When we are worried and tense, tea can relax us, particularly herbal teas such as chamomile, passionflower, lemon balm, and lavender, and these are especially suited for relaxing after work or before bedtime. But it is only God Who gives us the peace that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7), for He is the God of all comfort, as well as of love and peace (2 Corinthians 13:11).

Should we not also speak with God when we need to unwind after a stressful day or before we drift off to sleep? He calms our troubled heart when we turn to Him asking forgiveness (Psalm 51:10), in sorrow and repentance for our sins, and in the humility (Isaiah 57:15) of realizing that without Him, we can do nothing (John 15:5). But with Him, all things are possible! (Matthew 19:26).

Many tea lovers drink their beloved beverage daily, finding sustenance, energy and comfort there. Similarly, we should seek God daily (Psalm 61:8; 68:19), and not just in times of trouble, and He will reward us with strength (Isaiah 40:31), patience (James 1:2-8), peace (Isaiah 26:3; Philippians 4:6-7; 2 Corinthians 13:11) and joy (Nehemiah 8:10; Psalm 27:6; 32:11; 35:9).

Offering another person a cup of tea, or even water (Mark 9:41) is a comforting gesture of kindness and hospitality, reflecting the love of Christ, and He has promised to reward us for it.

Mark 9:41 For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.

Sharing tea 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)

Sharing tea is a special blessing 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. It brings to mind the sweet sacrament of dining together at the Lord’s table and remembering His body, broken for us, and His blood, shed for us, until He comes again (1 Corinthians 11:23-26).

At tea time or any meal or meeting, Jesus has promised us that where two or three are gathered in His Name, that He is in the midst of them and will answer any prayer request on which we agree  (Matthew 18:19-20). What a blessing to know that Jesus Himself is with us today through His Holy Spirit!

High tea is a special treat, filled with beautifully prepared delicacies served on fine china. But even if we drink tea or break bread in more humble settings, the love shared is far more important than the quality or quantity of food (Proverbs 15:17; 23:1-8)

The apostle Paul told us to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17), not necessarily verbally, but by offering our lives as a living prayer. One way we can do this through the Spirit is by being mindful of and thankful for God’s blessing and direction in all that we do (Colossians 3:23), even something as simple as drinking tea.

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

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!

© 2018 Laurie Collett



Sandi said...

Makes me want to make a cup right now! :)

Laurie Collett said...

Dandelion tea, perhaps? :-) God bless.

Frank E. Blasi said...

Dear Laurie,
Excellent comparison between the benefits of drinking tea at different occasions and allowing Jesus to minister to us at different occasions throughout our lifetime. God bless.

Laurie Collett said...

Dear Frank,
Thanks as always for your encouragement. Praying that Jesus will continue to minister to you and Alex. God bless,

Donald Fishgrab said...

Great post, Laurie.

Simply pausing to think about what God has done and let him act in our hearts is so important if we are to please him day by day. It is crucial we take that time for him if we are not to be burned out and frustrated by the things around us.

Laurie Collett said...

Amen, Donald! It was a wise preacher who said he was too busy not to pray. He shows us His perfect will and orders our steps, if we take the time to listen. Thanks for sharing your insights and God bless,

Susan said...

Hi Laurie, love this, so true about the Lord being in the midst of our getting together, even for a humble or fancy cup of tea 😊👍🏼 In all we give thanks ❤️

Laurie Collett said...

Thanks, Susan! Praise God that He graces us with His presence as we gather in His Name.
God bless,