I realized a short time ago that my all-time favorite TV show is now more than a decade old. During its run in the ’90s, Seinfeld enjoyed a cult following that still exists today. (As for me, I collected the DVDs of each season as they came out and now have the entire collection on my iPod, so I’m very familiar with the show.) A “show about nothing,” Seinfeld was among the first sitcoms to move away from neatly packed plot, offering instead interesting supporting characters, great acting (Jerry Seinfeld not withstanding), and superb writing. Scriptwriters invented catchphrases that many still remember today.
- Yada, yada, yada became the new et cetera.
- A double dipper is someone who inserts a chip into dip, takes a bite, and re-dips the chip.
- The pop in is the act of visiting without invitation or notification.
- A re-gifter is someone who gives away an undesirable present to someone else.
(You can find these and more at seinfeld.wikia.com.)
A lesser known phrase from the show was “in the vault,” which refers to keeping a secret.
Jerry: “George can never know about this. It’ll crush him.”
Elaine: “All right, all right, I’ll put it in the vault.”
Jerry: “No good. Too many people know the combination.”
Strong enough for a man …
I was thinking about the vault and secrets when I was mulling over the Parable of the Sower (see Matthew 13), which was the focus of a recent sermon series at ECOB. After Jesus told the parable to the crowd and before he explained it to them, his disciples asked him why he tells parables instead of just saying things plainly.
He replied, “You are permitted to understand the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven, but others are not.” —Matthew 13:11 nlt
The idea of a secret is that it should be kept. Secrets also give the sense that because one is privy to knowledge, he is better than someone else. Reporters and paparazzi are always looking for the inside scoop. Gossip usually involves the disclosure of secrets.
The New Age book The Secret is a phenomenon that has regrettably swept our nation. Don’t read this book. It’s full of ideas that are contrary to the Bible.
String of Pearls
I’m a pretty good secret-keeper myself. In particular, I love buying gifts for Cindy or the girls and holding my surprise until they can no longer withstand the anticipation.
A couple weeks ago, however, I gave Cindy gifts two days early. She was headed out with Lindsay and Jacque to a mother-daughter banquet. I’d purchased something I knew she wouldn’t get to wear much until Micah was older—Mr. Grabby Hands that he is. So on this occasion when she’d be without him, I wanted her to have the pearl necklace I’d bought. Not standard white pearls, the colors coordinated so well with her ensemble of purple and lime green. She stood there looking so beautiful with the strand of pearls around her neck. But, “Wait, wait, there’s more.” I was going to withhold the others, but she just needed the accompanying earrings and bracelet. I still had a card to present her on Mother’s Day, I reasoned.
Secrets are meant to be kept. Jesus told his disciples they were given the privilege of knowing the secrets of the kingdom. For centuries prior many wished they could know these secrets—people like Abraham and Moses and David. Prophets and even angels longed to know what he was telling them. They were an exclusive bunch. Shh, don’t tell anyone.
But this is my favorite part. After Jesus rose from the grave and before he ascended to heaven, he told them, “Now, now go tell the secrets.” Spread the news like ladies in a beauty salon. Open the vault.