Jesus lives at Starbucks

When I read the words, Ubi tres, ibi Ecclesia, Where three are, there is a churchI imagined us. It’s based on Jesus’s teaching in Matthew 18:20, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Jesus’s non-traditional notions of “church” were in direct contradiction to the requirements of the Jewish law to have ten men present to make a congregation.

Did he say it just to contradict the teaching of the religious or because there was something far deeper? Christians use this verse many times when praying, but this also contradicts the idea that Jesus is always with us, even when we are alone. 

There is a bigger and brighter idea here. A concept that breaks through all religious notions and rules. There is no number of times a day to pray, no specific place, no time of day. There are no correct words. The concept of two or three is to remind us that even in the midst of the smaller number of two or three, we form a church, a body, a moving being. We don’t need a building, or a denomination or seventy-two ministries to call ourselves Christians. We just need a good friend, an open hand and our loving God.

There is a great treasure to be found in the power of two. It is more than just ourselves. It is another person holding us saying it’s going to be ok. It’s another image of God staring at us. It’s God picking us up when we are unable to pray. It’s creating a congregation in a house, in the midst of a work-space or out here in the abyss of cyberspace.

I have had church in closed-door meetings, the floor of a friend’s house, in front of the Blessed Sacrament on the kneeler. Some of my most profound prayers have been prayed in the most unlikely of places. You don’t have to be in church to lead someone to Jesus, and for me, Starbucks seems to be the place where He appears the most. Maybe there is something about a cup of hot coffee and God. Or maybe it is the place where longer conversations can take place, philosophy still exists and people go to gather and meet and not just sit behind computer screens pretending other people are not there.

Don’t get me wrong, the mass is holy and reverent and the place you’ll find me on Sunday mornings. Not because God makes me, but because my heart implores me. And sometimes the mass contains moments that are prayers without words. Like feeding the eucharist on the tongue to a woman whose eyes are filled with tears, or hands that are wrinkled and clammy and needing His body or blessing a small child who longs for the wafer they are drawn to but know nothing about. For me being Catholic isn’t about the kneeler, it’s about the others on the kneeler with me, looking up at the same crucifix. 

If you are alone today, not religious, not part of a church, there is no need to worry. You are not alone. Grab my hand and let’s pray. Let’s have coffee

11 thoughts on “Jesus lives at Starbucks

    • Thank you! I love that everyday is different in God’s kingdom and we are free to talk with Him as a friend and confidant. Without Jesus, I am nothing.

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  1. This is why even online, fellowshipping, praying, COMMUNING with other believers, it is our spirits anointed by the Holy Spirit that makes it church! Don’t ever let anyone tell you, you can’t have “church” with others online! Too many who CAN’T get out, who are left alone by their former brick and mortar churches because they can’t (for what ever reason) get to the “normal” services!!
    Important, IMPORTANT message, Sis! Thanks for sharing and important truth!! God bless you always and continually!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Melissa, you hold two paradoxical truths in perfect tension. Being alone or with one or two others often does nourish me in the Spirit of Christ. Yet, I am “compelled” to worship among a group of more diverse body of believers to fully exercise my faith.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yeah there isn’t too many places we can’t find Jesus if He lives in our hearts.
    I love His sense of humor too!..lol
    I appreciate this post because it reminds us that WE are the church and not the building.
    Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

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