Thursday, 7 January 2010

The Beloved and the many names of God, coffee and epiphany

For Epiphany Martin Sinaga who comes from Indonesia and works for the LWF led prayers yesterday morning and reflected on how Christ's baptism is the true sign of Epiphany in Orthodox theology.
Martin wove the festival of the shining forth of Christ to all the nations with the countries we are praying for in the ecumenical prayer cycle this week. He focused in particular on the country of Yemen - much in the news at the moment because of terrorism and its dictatorial regime. He told a story about how coffee and the drinking of coffee was according to one story discovered in Yemen by a Muslim Sufi mystic - who brewed his first coffee drink after seeing a goat chewing on a coffee berry and supposedly seeming much better afterwards. Might that first drink of coffee have been a kind of epiphany. It had been Muslims from Yemen who had taken the story of the Prophet to Indonesia and converted many there to Islam, to the 99 most beautiful names of God - the compassionate one, the patient one, the source of peace, the shaper of beauty ...

As we reflected on Christ being God's beloved one, Martin encouraged three people to share the stories of their names, their sense of being "beloved" by God, their following of Christ, their stories of baptism.

So there was much to think about after our epiphany morning prayer but I did have a passing thought about whether that coffee berry chewing goat was called Starbuck.


Hansuli John Gerber said...

Great story - Hans Ucko reminded me yesterday that God has 99 names, because I'm going to pick up 100 bottles of wine soon for a wedding. How about sharing the extra bottle. Speaking of coffee, how about calling that La Semeuse?

Jane said...

Yes why is it called la semeuse?? must look into that - love teh idea of the 99 bottles - busy with snow at the moment and with the arrival of the new GS but a bottle of wine is good temptation!