The Disposable-Cup Generation

Yesterday was the Thanksgiving Service for the life of Kath Kirk who died aged 96 in March. Family and friends gathered to remember a lovely, gentle, strong Christian lady.

We listened to the story of her life, recalled her character, shared memories… Kath had chosen hymns, prayers, Bible readings… There was a buffet in the church hall… with tea and coffee served in disposable cups.

I was brought up in the ‘cup-and-saucer’ generation. At home we had cups and saucers at breakfast and tea… the best crockery came out on Sunday. Every church, café and village hall bore witness to the cup-and-saucer generation.

The cup-and saucer generation became the mug generation. Cups and saucers were unused in kitchen cupboards. The ‘tea service’ was no longer a requirement for every home, no longer the standard wedding present.

Today folk purchase their Costa or Starbucks coffee in disposable cups. At church cups, saucers and mugs stay in the cupboard. We’ve moved to the disposable-cup generation.

The disposable-cup generation reflects a disposable world.

In the cup-and-saucer generation shopping was bought in re-usable paper bags, milk came in returnable glass bottles, socks were mended, clothes were passed on, bicycles were repaired… ‘Make-do-and-mend’

Today, re-cycling centres and charity shops are well used. We dispose of that which is broken or unwanted. Our bins are full. It’s the disposable-cup generation.

I’ve been reminded several times recently of Jesus’ story of the lost sheep… The shepherd could have said: ‘I’m happy with 99 sheep. We can manage without number 100.’ Disposable-cup mentality.

We see the disposable-cup mentality in relationships… treating others as commodities that are used, enjoyed and then discarded… moving on from a broken relationship rather than mending it…

I’m grateful for Kath who demonstrated to me that a strong and robust faith lasts a lifetime, that consistency and faithfulness are important, that individuals do matter,

Kath demonstrated that disposable-cup generation mentality doesn’t apply to people. She’d learnt from her Good Shepherd.

4 thoughts on “The Disposable-Cup Generation

    1. Thank you. She certainly was. Gentle but strong she was brought up in Liverpool through the war years. She supported her husband and family through tough times. She was an example to us all. Those of us who had the privilege of knowing Kath will not forget her

      Liked by 1 person

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