by The Rev. Richard Heinz
A few years ago, a dear friend of our family moved to Delaware, Ohio. She shares our love of tea. To make a long story short, she and her daughter discovered a little cottage where afternoon tea was served.
Now, tea rooms usually have an assortment of loose teas that brew in the pot and are poured through a strainer into your cup. This little shop, however, had a specialty blend – one that we always selected – no need to waste time with the other choices. The Apple Tree Cottage’s special tea was Cinnamon-Vanilla.
Soothing. Calming. A delightfully mellowing way to relax, sipping cinnamon-vanilla tea and tasting some great sandwiches, pastries, and desserts. We had to take some home!
We were pleased to be able to buy some sachets of it, and have since shared it with other friends. Emma and Brian were over one evening when we served this delightful hot beverage. That night Emma first called it “comfort in a cup.”
How true! This amazing mixture of sweet and spicy was truly comforting. Yes, comfort in a cup!
Yet as I think of it some more, as much as I enjoy this amazing treat, there is another cup that is far more comforting! Saint Ignatius, the first-century pastor and bishop of Antioch, called it the “medicine of immortality.” Jesus said: “Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” (John 6:54 ESV) Saint Paul reminds us why: “The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ?” (1 Corinthians 10:16 ESV)
Jesus gives you the true “comfort in a cup” as He pours out His blood, shed on the cross for you. He quenches your thirst with the fruit of the True Vine, which spilled from His veins and sacred wounds. This precious lifeblood removes all fear and guilt over your sin, as He feeds you forgiveness, life, and salvation.
Some will warn against this precious Sacrament if you are feeling weak or ill-prepared. Yet when you are troubled by your sin and doubt, feeling weak in your faith and weary of this world, it is precisely the time to be drawn to our Savior’s holy altar and receive His saving feast! This is the hour that you most desperately need to be nourished and sustained – and comforted!
Our Lord Jesus bids you to come to His Table, to taste and see that the Lord is good! He desires that you in your weakness would be filled with His strength, as He gives it in His Most Precious Sacrament.
The body of God’s Lamb we eat,
A priestly food and priestly meat;
On sin-parched lips the chalice pours
His quenching blood that life restores. LSB 624, stanza 6
Kristi and I still enjoy the soothing simple joys of tea, especially our cinnamon-vanilla blend. But far more central to our lives in His grace is the best and truest “comfort in a cup” – the true Blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
Created: January 31st, 2008