Fill My Cup

A Cup Of Coffee That Would Last You A Week

Ed, my old neighbor in Saskatchewan, has had more than his share of colorful relatives. We got into a discussion of Ed’s uncle John because of my clumsy, arthritic, hands, and my frequent dropping, and breaking of various things. I like my coffee and have dropped and broken several coffee mugs.

Ed’s uncle John was a rancher and cowboy in Alberta and who made bitter coffee that was just plain-awful tasting. His uncle John always insisted that Ed drink his cup of coffee for it separated the men from the boys. Uncle John felt he was doing those who drank his coffee a favor. He said that if you can drink my coffee, you will be able to drink a good swallow of whiskey straight from the bottle.  Ed claims a cup of his uncle John’s coffee would last a person a week.

Cowboys in stories and movies drink strong coffee on the range. There were possibly a few who drank tea but cowboys having a tin cup of tea just doesn’t seem to fit the cowboy image in my mind. The Bible speaks of a cup, a container for drinking from, made in a variety of materials such as gold, silver, and earthenware. It does not talk about a cup of coffee or coffee cups per-see.

Sometimes the word cup in the Bible is a drinking vessel. Sometimes it functions as a metaphor for an individual’s fate. We see this in Psalm 16 The Lord is credited with giving the palmist his portion and cup in life. In Psalm 23 equates an abundant life with an overflowing cup. In Psalm 116 the writer raises the cup of salvation as a thank offering to God.

The cup is also a representative of fate on a national level as a cup of wrath; pouring out God’s judgment on nations. Jerusalem drank from the cup of ruin and desolation as did both kingdoms, Israel and Judah. The cup may be about God’s blessing or God’s wrath on individuals or nations.

The cup represents the central events of Christianity, the death and resurrection of Christ. In the gospel of Luke, we have Jesus praying in the garden of Gethsemane before his arrest. He begged, “Father if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” Facing the full and complete cup of God’s wrath, the Bible says that Jesus prayed so earnestly that his sweat became like great drops of blood falling to the ground.

As true man and God the human side of Jesus dreaded the degradation, of his arrest, and trial, about to begin. He prayed that the cup of God’s wrath might pass him without his drinking it, for in his crucifixion he would be forsaken of God and thoroughly punished for the sins of the world.  It was Jesus’ fate to drain the overflowing cup of God’s wrath. By drinking the cup, Jesus transformed the cup of wrath to the cup of life. The shedding of his blood on the cross and the giving of his life there brought us a new covenant from God in Jesus’ blood. We have now the cup of the Lord in the Lord’s Supper. Thanks be to God!

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