Coffee and Tea

Kelly Brace

Read: Matthew 25:31-40

And the King will answer them, “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.” (v. 40)

My husband loves coffee, especially iced Americanos. I enjoy tea more. I enjoy the ritual: choosing a nice Earl Gray, chai, or green tea, waiting for the water to boil, and adding milk, sugar, or lemon. When I make my tea, I also try to think about the work of growing, harvesting, drying, and packaging the tea. I think about the workers and their families. Do they drink tea too?

More people and companies are becoming aware of the unsafe and harsh conditions the coffee and tea industries have had. Underage, coerced hands have picked leaves and coffee beans for long hours so people can spend a few minutes brewing what their labor has produced for little or no pay. Now that this use of slave labor is being recognized, more companies are taking steps to ensure that their products are made ethically. When you choose coffee and tea from Fair Trade Certified or Certified B corporations, you are choosing to protect those workers.

In today’s passage, Jesus gives us a serious challenge. When someone is suffering, whether in a far-off country, or our own community, we are to care for them. We have the power and ability to help them. We need to be taking better care of “the least of these.” —Kelly Brace

As you pray, ask God to show you how he wants you to care for the people trapped in modern slavery.