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What's a Jesus Burger?

An Article by Timothy Smith



“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16 If you’ve lived in Colorado very long, you’ve probably heard mixed reviews about the college town of Boulder. Some might tell you it’s a gorgeous place full of kind people, others will say it’s a spiritual wasteland full of hippies riding around in Subarus. Whatever your opinion, It’s safe to say Boulder needs Jesus. If there was a place in Boulder that embodies the negative qualities of the city it would most likely be University Hill aka “the Hill”. This large neighborhood contains most of the sorority and fraternity houses for CU Boulder, a university voted top “party school in the nation” in 2018, so no surprise it's a jungle gym of bad decisions. What better place to shine a light and declare the good news of the kingdom of God! Every Friday night at around six a handful of young people gather at The Point Cafe, a coffee shop on the Hill, owned and operated by Reach Church in Broomfield. These young people, some from Calvary Brighton, some from Reach, grab a propane grill from the storage room and set it up near the sidewalk outside the cafe. Over the next couple of hours they grill and assemble over a hundred burgers and give them to any student, homeless person, or site seer who wants one. Oh and they hang up a big sign that says “JESUS BURGERS”. As you would expect, most college students become euphoric when offered a free cheeseburger, then comes confusion. “What’s the catch?”, “Why are you doing this”, and “What is a Jesus Burger?” are common initial responses. Some lead to further conversation about God’s love and the free gift of salvation, but most people grab and go, thankful for the free meal. Whether they talk for a while or pass by without a second look, we have faith God is working on their hearts. One of the most exciting things is the astonishment some of the students have when they see us, because they’ve never seen Christianity displayed like this. It just doesn’t fit the “judgmental”, “hateful”, and “hypocritical” Christianity their culture warns them of. Others have grown up in religiously rigid backgrounds where they never personally experienced the love of God and it’s wonderful to see them question who they thought Christians were and who they think Christ is. As the summer nears, fewer students and more homeless people are blessed by the burgers. Unlike the students, who are always on their way to dinner or a party or a bar, it’s much easier to have a long conversation with a homeless person, eager to have someone to talk to. Many of them claim to be Christian and know plenty about Jesus, but are still enslaved to addiction, anger, and mental disorder. We ask for your prayers for Boulder, for God to move in power, and for laborers in the harvest. We pray for more impact but we can’t force people to change their hearts. I like the way Keith Green put it, “All we are supposed to do is offer them the truth and show them more love than they’ve ever seen in their life. And if those two things, the truth and love, cannot reach them, nothing can.” In the end it’s up to them, and whenever they realize their lives of partying and getting high aren’t going anywhere, we’ll be here. I help Jesus Burgers run as an extension of Reach Church, a Calvary Chapel affiliate. They provide nearly all the supplies needed for the burgers each week. Anyone who wants to lighten their load can support financially by reaching out to me at tim4mediaman@gmail.com or 720-724-3449. Join us for Jesus Burgers every Friday night. Set up at 6pm, burgers at 7pm. The Point Cafe, 1101 13th St, Boulder, CO 80302. I encourage you to visit The Point Cafe during their regular hours too. Their daily ministry on the Hill is remarkable and encouraging.