The Cup

Ever since I can remember I’ve noticed this habit when watching TV.  It’s quirky and I’m not sure when it got started but because I noticed it a long time ago I now look for it.  My radar is tuned to the way people handle a cup when they are in a scene.  As a man who handles a cup almost everyday because of my fond affection for coffee I have developed a particular manner in which I handle the cup so when people wield it around inconsequentially I take notice.  My rule when it comes to the cup is simple, the contents inform the process.  What I’ve noticed is that you can tell if there is anything in the cup by the way a person handles it.  Most actors and actresses wave it around like it’s a pointless prop with no thought for the contents or the consequence thereof.  I’ve turned the channel before because people were mishandling the cup!  

Flash forward to today and simply turn on your TV and watch the news and you will see that everybody handles the Cup as if there was nothing in it.  Yesterday and today the lead story on the national news was of a twenty-year old black man who was trying to get into a bar in Virginia.  In Virginia the legal drinking age is twenty-one so if you are trying to get into a bar at the age of twenty you are breaking the law.  This guy resisted arrest, verbally assaulted the officers with profanity while calling them racist.  He did this because he knows that dropping the “R” word will get you out of any crime in America these days and will activate social media crusaders and within hours there will be a parade, march or demonstration in your honor.  This is not about racism, which is a real problem but it’s not the fundamental cause of all the evils in society as some would have you to believe.  It’s actually worse than that.  All this is because we have allowed ourselves to become convinced that the Cup was empty.

Flash back to Matthew 26:39 where we read these words, “And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”  Because the Cup was full of our sin, our excuses and our will, Jesus carries out God’s will.  Sweating drops of blood and pleading that the Cup pass from you makes no sense if the Cup is empty.  However, the Cup was full and the only thing that would empty it was obedience.   

When you act as if the Cup was empty you create a society, culture and generations to come which are based on our will not God’s will and as liberating as that sounds once the dust from the latest parade settles you will have to face the consequences of the way you have handled the Cup.  The most debilitating being that you have created a world in which there is no higher authority to appeal to for help, redemption, forgiveness or liberation from sin and the injustice of a fallen world.  If the Cup is empty then there is no sin to be forgiven, no standard of truth to which we can all appeal and no right and wrong.  Instead, all you have are a bunch of meaningless parades and demonstrations to attend which are all rooted in a fundamental humanistic theory that the Cup was empty so no one is to blame.

The Cup was full.  We are all guilty.  Cancel the parade.

Fifteen days and counting,

Neil