Monday, November 30, 2009

November 30, 2009

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)


Albert Einstein was a familiar face at Princeton; and while teaching at the university, he was a frequent guest lecturer at the seminary.

Renowned as the most brilliant mind of the 20th century, he was very forgetful; and it wasn't unusual to spot him strolling across the seminary campus without one of his socks or both of his shoes!

There's one story of the university switchboard receiving a call and asking for Dr. Einstein's address.

The operator said, "I'm sorry. Dr. Einstein has made it clear that we are not to give out his address to anyone."

"But," the voice on the other end said after a short pause, "this is Dr. Einstein."


It's important to know who you are; and around this time of the year, it's important to know why we observe/celebrate Christmas.

While it may sound simply syrupy, you can't take Christ out of Christmas without replacing its/His holiness with holly hollowness.

Jesus is the reason for the season.

Christmas is all about Jesus.



A letter to parents about it comes to mind:

Dear Mom and Dad,

It's hard to believe Christmas is just around the corner.
Tree lots are springing up all over the place and merchants
are spicing up the season with really seductive deals; though
I'm not sure if they know what it's all about. But in some
strange way, all of it gets me pretty excited.

I know you're wondering what to give the kids this year.
It seems nobody remembers what they got last year. There
aren't many things that don't wear out, get thrown out, or
become played out. That's why I'm writing. I've got an
idea that can change all of that.

Do you remember when your babies were born? Do you
remember how you were lost in wonder, love, and praise?
And do you remember when they were baptized? You
promised to tell them about Jesus and get them involved
with their whole family of faith in the church. And do
you remember those first Christmas Eve services when
their faces seemed more sparklingly brilliant than the
light from the candles in their little hands? And do you
remember the tears welling in your eyes when you heard
them sing about that "Silent Night" for the first time? I
know you remember when they saw a manger scene and
yelled out with such innocent joy, "There's baby Jesus!"

I think you know what to give them for Christmas.

I'm not one of those Scrooge-like "Christians" who make
holidays look like a bad case of hemorrhoids. I like popcorn
balls, candy canes, cookies with red and green sprinkles,
spiked eggnog, mistletoe, and even the funny fat man in
the red suit. They help to make the season bright.

I just want you to remember why we're so excited
every year around this time.

It all about a baby.



Why not give Jesus to the kids? There is something so
eternal about Him. And I know you want to give a gift to
them that lasts forever.

I know you want them to have more to show for Christmas
than unwrapped presents, tired feet, and regrets for cards
not sent and gifts not purchased.

Maybe that's why they named the holiday after Him. Only
someone really, really, really important could keep us
celebrating for over two thousand years.

Now I'm really excited.

Blessings and Love,
(a close relative)



I was thinking about all of that because one of my better friends was a little ticked at me for dissing Pittsburgh's Sparkle Season (scroll down to KD's 11/18/09 edition).

I confess I did.

Pittsburgh's Sparkle Season, with its increasing incarnations nationwide, is an attempt by secularists/anti-Christs to take Jesus out of the holiday for, uh, anti-Christ reasons.

It's intellectually dishonest.

Christmas is about Jesus.

But if mainline clergy can't even talk about Him by name anymore...

Anyway, my better friend reminded me about the genesis of Pittsburgh's Sparkle Season.

Sophie Masloff, Pittsburgh's first and still only female mayor (1988-1994) who was born to Romanian Jewish parents in Pittsburgh (1917) and spoke only Yiddish until she began attending school in Pittsburgh's Hill District, was pressured by the Jewish community and ACLU to expand the inclusiveness of the, uh, holiday, uh, called Christmas to, uh, include people/religions/others who weren't, uh, into, uh, Jesus.

My better friend: "So the idea behind Sparkle Season was not to secularize Christmas but rather to acknowledge other holidays important to other people like Chanukah."


That makes sense; and knowing Pittsburgh's 55th mayor was especially ethical and agapeish, I do not doubt her noble intentions.

But, uh, Christmas is still primarily/solely/historically/traditionally/actually about Jesus.



Now that we've got the first truly secular President in America, I expect the anti-Christs to really go for, uh, whatever it is that they're really after.

God knows I know you know they want Jesus out of mind/sight/culture.

Anyone who doubts that still thinks the founder and true believers of Islam are irenic versions of Tiny Tim.

God knows I know you know this, uh, holiday has become some kinda anti-tribute to someone somewhere about something that we've somehow shelved as seduced by cultural secularism.

Or something like that.


A friend in Florida who happens to be a mainline clergyman but still gets it/Him has started a campaign to return Jesus to Christmas in America; or, at least, to vent about the anti-Christs who are trying so hard to ruin the holiday for people who still get it/Him.

He's targeted the ACLU as the most notoriously dark conspirators to get rid of Jesus during this season.

Here's his idea.

He wants people who still like Jesus to send "Merry Christmas" cards "to brighten up their dark, sad, little world."

He's even provided the address:

125 Broad Street, 18th Floor
NY, NY 10004

He writes, "A side benefit is that tons of Christmas cards would impact their operations because they wouldn't know if any were regular mail or perhaps were containing contributions...So spend 44 cents and tell the ACLU, 'Merry Christmas!'"




It's important to know who you are; especially as more and more folks try to steal your identity.

It's important to be intellectually honest about things.

Christmas is all about Jesus.


Christmas is all about God coming in Jesus as the Babe of Bethlehem.

I'm hoping/praying your Christmas and all years are filled with the love and joy of Jesus in all things at all times in all places with all people.

As far as I'm concerned, the secularists/anti-Christs can go to...

Hey! Hey! Hey!

It's their choice.

I just don't want them to think they can choose for me or pretend what is isn't.

You pretending Christmas isn't about Jesus.


Blessings and Love!

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