Holy Grounds

Recently during worship, Pastor Keith spoke about Genesis 1:2, which says that “the Spirit of God hovered over the waters” during creation. Pastor Keith explained that the word “hover” actually means to brood. Now to be honest, I thought he said “brewed.” You know, like coffee. Coffee is never too far from my thoughts and even though I learned later that he said “brood,” and not “brewed,” I had already begun to think about how life in the Spirit is like a great cup of coffee.
I’ve worked on and off in coffeeshops since I was 16, and one of my very favorite brewing methods is to use a french press. It’s very simple to use and produces a cup of coffee that is rich and flavorful. I think that the same features of brewing with a french press, when applied to our lives, will produce rich and flavorful expressions of God’s Spirit in the world. Here are some of those features:
  1. Immersion– Rather than have water spray over the surface of the grounds and drip down into a pitcher, water and coffee grounds are both added to the pitcher for an extended period of time. It is essential that the grounds be completely saturated. You know, water is a common metaphor for the Holy Spirit. I think this is just what Paul had in mind when he writes that we should be “baptized in the Holy Spirit.” A spray here and there isn’t enough. A drip every now and then isn’t what we’re looking for. We want to be baptized in the Spirit of God. Immersed completely. We want our lives to be absolutely saturated by Him.
  2. Filterlessness– When a filter is used, it traps many of the oils which would otherwise add flavor and texture to the coffee. Because the french press uses no filter, the oils from the grounds remain once the grounds have been removed. Remember that oil is a symbol of the Holy Spirit and His anointing. What are the filters that we allow to trap or inhibit the Spirit in our lives? What are the barriers that keep His anointing from being enjoyed by us and others? Spiritual filters could be fear of what people think of us, toxic relationships, bitterness, unforgiveness, inauthenticity, etc. When we remove those spiritual filters, we allow the oil of the Holy Spirit to flow freely in our lives, adding flavor and adventure to every day!
  3. Pressure– This is the tough one. In order to separate the grounds from the water (which has now been brewed into coffee), a plunger is inserted into the pitcher and presses the grounds all the way to the bottom, leaving the rich, delicious coffee on top to be poured into your favorite mug. If coffee grounds could talk, I’m sure they’d agree that this is not a fun process. Pressure is not fun. But it’s necessary for french press coffee and it’s necessary in our spiritual lives. I think most of us would agree that it’s been in the pressing times- the trials, the uncertainty, the loss- that God has been most able to work in our lives. And it’s lessons learned under pressure that continue to shape our lives and experience. Under pressure, God grows in us patience, peace, grace, compassion, and a cornucopia of other fruits.
As we go through these cycles of immersion in the Spirit, removing spiritual filters, and growing under pressure, may God make us rich and flavorful to be poured out in love to the world around us!
Pastor Deb