TITLE: Misinformed, Misunderstood, Mistaken
DATE: December 22, 2018
TEXT: 1 Peter 3:15 - (ESV)-15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect
Jennifer Sinclair is the principal of Manchester Elementary School in Nebraska.
Recently she wrote to her staff and said, “I come from a place that Christmas and the like are not allowed in schools, as over the years in my educational career, this has evolved into the expectation for all educators.“ What she was saying is, “My background doesn’t allow for Christmas to be celebrated and nether should yours.”
Then Jennifer shared a list of Christmas things which were going to be off limits for her teachers. Banned items included Santa’s, Christmas trees, “Elf on the Shelf,” singing Christmas Carols, playing Christmas music, Candy Canes and reindeer, homemade ornament gifts, Christmas movies and red and green items.
Of course, our enthusiastic Principal didn’t just share a list of things which were forbidden; she also encouraged her teachers to use innocuous, and politically correct, winter-type symbols like: polar bears, penguins and the character Olaf from the movie Frozen.
Hearing of what was happening, Liberty Counsel from Maitland, Florida write a letter to the Superintendent of Jennifer’s school. The letter didn’t call for anybody to be fired or punished. On the contrary, the letter assumed the Principal was well -intentioned, but had been misinformed. All the letter tried to do was clear up some common misconceptions and set the record straight.
So you might know what the real rules are, I share a few high points:
Now I don’t know about you, but the flexibility of that list was a real eye-opener to me. You see, I, too had been misinformed. I was under the opinion just mentioning Jesus could get a teacher drawn-and-quartered. Not so. By law, and hopefully by their supervisors, teachers are given a fair degree of latitude in sharing Christmas and the Christ.
They may not be able to preach a sermon, or say a prayer, but just explaining the names Jesus and Christ could go a long way in making some introductions to the Savior Who was born to save us from ourselves.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, today I give thanks for Christian teachers. They may be in a parochial school, or a state school. They may give of themselves in Sunday School or at a Bible Class. Bless their use of time and energy so their classes may be blessed and all may see the Savior’s love most clearly . In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Today’s devotion was inspired by various articles, amongst which is the one written by Michael Foust for Christian Headlines on December 5, 2018 . Those who wish may check out this link which was, at the time of writing, fully active: https://www.christianheadlines.com/contributors/michael-foust/school-bans-santa-christmas-trees-candy-canes-and-the-colors-red-and-green.html
The music which introduces and concludes our devotions was written by Guy Baumann, one of my long-ago confirmands. He is singing with three brothers. This song comes from the album: The Baumann Brothers which may be ordered here: http://thebaumannbrothers.com/index.html