If you order a drink from any cafe worth its hipster salt, your drink will probably come in a Mason Jar.
The Mason Jar was invented in 1858 by John Landis Mason. It was mass-produced in the 1900s by the Ball Corporation, with its iconic name in cursive, and the words “Made in U.S.A.” Once used for canning and preserving foods, it is now de rigueur for the global hipster aesthetic.
Whether you’re in Vancouver, New Jersey, or Lima (as I was last week!) it’s likely your drink will come in a Mason Jar.
The appeal of the Mason Jar is it makes us feel connected. As we sip from our Mason Jar, we are connected to a more simple time, prior to plastics, when people grew their own foods, ate local produce, and knitted fluffy, woolly socks.
It shows that food and drink–which is needed for survival–is more than survival. Food and drink need to be part of a history, a tradition, and a story. Otherwise we could simply survive on water and vitamin tablets. But, instead, our food and drink connect us with something bigger, a grander narrative.
Life is more than survival
As humans, we are more than just ribbons of DNA fighting for survival. Life is about survival, but it is much more than survival. We need to be connected to something bigger than ourselves, a grander narrative.
But, in the end, the Mason Jar can never truly connect us with a grander narrative. It itself is a product of a manufactured narrative–a mass produced commodification of a minimalist chic. Rather than connecting us with a simpler time, it connects us with cynical self-serving capitalism at its best.
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So which grander narrative can we connect to?
Maybe we’ve already chosen our narrative, but the Mason Jar shows that we still long for a bigger story. By ourselves, living our own narratives, we remain disconnected.
The Bible claims to have the grandest of all narratives. A loving God who knows us and made us. A Saviour who gave up his throne to be one of us. The offer of adoption into God’s family. Entry into Jesus’ Kingdom, with a mission to bring his love, mercy, and justice onto planet Earth.
If we connect ourselves with this story, this history, this tradition, then maybe we will find the narrative that we’ve been longing for.
* Article supplied with thanks to Sam Chan at Espresso Theology. Sam is a theologian, preacher, author, evangelist, ethicist, cultural analyst and medical doctor.