Flagstaff Star by Sally (Pohara) Hart by commission
for the Boulder Chamber of Commerce in 2005.
“Christmas in Bethlehem. The ancient dream: a cold, clear night made brilliant by a glorious star, the smell of incense, shepherds and wise men falling to their knees in adoration of the sweet baby, the incarnation of perfect love.” ~Lucinda Franks
Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way…
I moved to beautiful Boulder, Colorado in mid 1990 picturing a life of adventure, skiing, prosperity and building a software company that would change the way the world produces results. At the time, we were the world’s largest developer of hypertext database reporting and access tools, with hundreds of thousands of customers worldwide.
Little did I realize that I would be here now, building a company that creates Champions of Spirit-Led Success… disciples for Christ, fielded into every church in America… who will then go on to help others become all that God created them to be.
No doubt, the journey has been amazing… a transformation of the first order of magnitude!
Boulder is a small college town set against the most beautiful mountain backdrop imaginable. Study the Christmas card above, and you can start to feel the beauty and majesty of an idyllic town nestled against Flagstaff mountain.
Sally Hart, one of the most talented artists you will ever meet, and one of our early editors of TQ/Time Prism content, perfectly captured the essence of Boulder in her 2005 Christmas card for the Boulder Chamber.
The beautiful star high upon the mountain overlooking the valley where the city lights radiate like the spokes on a snowflake. Peaceful. Inspiring. Breathtaking.
Yes, look closely and you will see a huge point of controversy in this magnificent frame… a raging battle of Church vs. State that has persisted for as long as anyone can remember—well before we even moved to Boulder.
It seems that each year the ACLU sues the city for the egregious display of the Christmas Star on public property, since the star sits firmly on Boulder Parks and Open Space land, and is directly adjacent to the Boulder city limits. No question, the star is a huge bone of contention for those who believe in nothing and want others to simply forget the meaning of Christmas.
So, why does the Christmas Star remain on public land, proudly heralding the reason for the season, so to speak? Why is it permitted to remain a beacon of hope and inspiration for the millions of people who see it each year?
Now, that’s an interesting story!
I would love to tell you it is because the elected officials all have a Christian heart, and they simply feel a calling to display their faith by “telling it on the mountain!” No, not even close.
The reason they do “the right thing” is by force of WILL, not force of faith.
It seems a very rich old miner left a vast amount of property to the City in his Will—property now worth Billions of dollars… property that represents the very essence of what Boulder has come to mean—physically, spiritually and emotionally.
In fact, this man was a Christian and bequeathed his land to Boulder with only one provision: The Christmas Star shall be illuminated from Thanksgiving evening until New Years Day each year. Do this in remembrance of the birth of Christ, and you may keep the land. Fail to obey this simple codicil, and the ownership of the land returns to his estate.
In other words, celebrate the beginning of the Christmas season with the star leading the way—or chose to lose the benefits bestowed under my Last Will and Testament was pretty much the essence of the deal.
After years of costly litigation, making it all the way up to the Supreme Court, everybody except the diehard Atheists won!
How you might ask?
Like all things “Boulder,” you would have to live here to fully understand why everyone loves the “Flagstaff Star,” especially community officials who would die the “death from a thousand knives” to keep our backdrop the pristine beauty it is.
Long ago, as the nation started this agonizing process of creating a society “free from religion,” especially Christianity and anything relating to God, the unusually prescient Boulder City Council got well ahead of the ball.
They knew the Christmas Star was going to be a continuing target for the ACLU and their high-priced legal eagles. They also knew they had no real choice in the matter. They had to illuminate the star each year at Christmas time, or lose the character and heart of the city.
Some might say they bowed their heads in prayer, asking for Divine Guidance.
Some might say they prayed for Divine Illumination.
Maybe some did, but the long and short of it came from a life-long Boulder attorney who created a simple, unimpeachable, 100% legally defensible approach to the problem… an approach that would make everyone (except the most litigious Atheists) happy, and keep the star lit for generations to come.
You could correctly call this Divine Inspiration!
It seems that by City Council Order, that thing illuminating the path to Boulder is not a religious symbol at all, and it is merely a coincidence that it is turned on from November to January.
No, it is NOT a Christmas star at all… it is (and this is absolutely brilliant) a “5 pointed geometric object” representing the billions of the stars in the universe, clearly in view above it in the crisp wintertime sky. In fact, due to it’s prominent setting high atop Flagstaff Mountain, it is named the Flagstaff Star.
Just the other night we drove up to the Boulder Overlook where Sally imagined this spectacular rendering. Looking down on the town, and looking up at the star made me wonder what others might be thinking this time of the year.
Some might just be happy to feel the glow of the lights on the mountain. It is truly a beautiful sight to see.
Some might be glad to know that they are true Believers, and that the star represents spiritual redemption for them. Even though we know, it is important to be reminded from time to time.
Some just might feel a little stronger calling to put just a little more Christ into their Christmas… to remember why He came into our lives.
Some might be angry that we have faith—something to believe in—where their souls are tormented and empty. While I open my arms to the lost and hurting, I wish they would recognize that no one is making them “feel different” and that Christianity is all-inclusive, even for those who have not even the faith of a mustard seed. Our inner-happiness isn’t really making them unhappy, they are making themselves unhappy by watching us being happy! (Nothing we can do but keep the doors open for them.)
As for me, this is The Christmas Star, a star that reminds me what it means to be alive with the hope and promise of eternal life. It reminds me to love one another, especially those who do not agree with me or my beliefs.
It reminds me that in a world filled with evil, there is a path to goodness and mercy.
That if we follow the star we will ultimately find the life of our dreams.
Yes, this is The Christmas star upon which I wish all YOUR dreams come true.
With Faith and Assurance,
Eric R. Haas, CEO
PS Our hearts and prayers go out to the families who have lost their children this week. May they not lose their faith, but instead, become beacons of light in this dark and hurting world. Know that there are now 26 new Christmas Stars in our nighttime sky tonight.
Nothing expresses my feeling more than silently reading or together, singing…
Silent night, holy night
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon Virgin Mother and Child
Holy Infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace
Sleep in heavenly peace
Silent night, holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight
Glories stream from heaven afar
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia!
Christ, the Savior is born
Christ, the Savior is born
Silent night, holy night
Son of God, love’s pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth “