Coffee and Religion…
During my first ministry back in Melbourne, I was told, in all honesty that ‘coffee was crack for Christians’ – and I guess when you considered that we almost could not meet nor conduct a meeting without it, that may have not been to far from the truth.
For Christmas, my mother gave me “The Chocolate and Coffee Bible” by Catherine Atkinson, Mary Banks, Christine France & Christine McFadden [Hermes House, London 2008] and within its ‘hallowed’ pages I found the following quote, which underlines the intersection between coffee and religion.
This is said to be a translation from the Arabic from the work of Sheik Abdal-Kader Anasari Djezeri Haubuli, son of Mahammed – a liturgy on coffee:
“O Coffee! thou dispellest the cares of the great; thou bringest back those who wander from the paths of knowledge. Coffee is the beverage of the people of God, and the cordial of his servants who thirst for wisdom. When coffee is infused into the bowl, it exhales the odor of musk, and is of the color of ink. The truth is not known except to the wise, who drink it from the foaming coffee-cup. God has deprived fools of coffee, who, with invincible obstinacy, condemn it as injurious.
“Coffee is our gold; and in the place of its libations we are in the enjoyment of the best and noblest society. Coffee is even as innocent a drink as the purest milk, from which it is distinguished only by its color. Tarry with thy coffee in the place of its preparation, and the good God will hover over thee and participate in his feast. There the graces of the saloon, the luxury of life, the society of friends, all furnish a picture of the abode of happiness.
“Every care vanishes when the cup-bearer presents the delicious chalice. It will circulate fleetly through thy veins, and will not rankle there: if thou doubtest this, contemplate the youth and beauty of those who drink it. Grief cannot exist where it grows; sorrow humbles itself in obedience before its powers.
“Coffee is the drink of God’s people; in it is health. Let this be the answer to those who doubt its qualities. In it we will drown our adversities, and in its fire consume our sorrows. Whoever has once seen the blissful chalice, will scorn the wine-cup. Glorious drink! thy color is the seal of purity, and reason proclaims it genuine. Drink with confidence, and regard not the prattle of fools, who condemn without foundation.” [pg 271]