“From Russia with Love” conjures up many images, such as James Bond played by Sean Connery or M16, or SPECTRE or Dr. No. You’re not alone with this piece of mind-painting on an imaginary canvass.
However, that’s not where we’re going, nor are we off to the Winter Olympics or to see Vladimir Putin. We’re serving tea!
Back in the late ‘60’s, I discovered a recipe for what was then called Russian Tea. Anyone who ever came to my home was introduced to ‘my’ tea. Over time, I adjusted the recipe with a bit of this and a dab of that to make it mine. One of my nieces asked if I could make it decaf and I did. What an excellent suggestion that was.
To this very day, I give gifts of the tea in plain plastic bags or pretty containers or even glass jars. I like to present a bride-to-be with ‘my tea’ and 2 mugs for the newlyweds to enjoy; in the winter, I include my special Hot Cocoa mix (but that’s a different story for another day).
A few years ago, I gave some of my ‘Spiced Tea’ (as I had begun to call it) to a sweet friend whom I knew at my church. One day, the lovely Sabrina sent me a note referring to the tea she was now calling her Serenity. Time for another name change; I now call it SereniTea©. But that’s not the end of the story.
Not only did Sabrina love my tea, but she shared it with her cousin, Bryant who was in the Military serving in Iraq. Sabrina says, “Although Bryant is now retired, he still loves the tea and he wants more.”
There are many ways to ‘love your brother’, and I liked the way Sabrina showed her cousin the love of Christ half way around the world by sharing her tea.
Thank you, Bible Gate Way* for making the Scriptures so readily available, like this one from The Message:1 Peter 4L8-11 ” Everything in the world is about to be wrapped up, so take nothing for granted. Stay wide-awake in prayer. Most of all, love each other as if your life depended on it. Love makes up for practically anything. Be quick to give a meal to the hungry, a bed to the homeless—cheerfully. Be generous with the different things God gave you, passing them around so all get in on it: if words, let it be God’s words; if help, let it be God’s hearty help. That way, God’s bright presence will be evident in everything through Jesus, and he’ll get all the credit as the One mighty in everything—encores to the end of time. Oh, yes!”
Loving your neighbor and showing hospitality can be as simple as a cup of tea or sending a gift off to a faraway land, but do it! You never know who might show up at your door, as Paul tells us in Hebrews 13:2, “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”
King James Version used throughout unless otherwise noted.
© 2014 Cat Brennan