You know the Dr. Seuss story – mean, green Mr. Grinch cant stand the Whos of Whoville. And he cant stand them even more at Christmastime!
They are singing and laughing and decorating and all their happy noises bother the Grinch. He decides that he will steal Christmas. Hell steal Christmas, the happy noises will stop, and he will finally be happy. So he plots and plans and finally on Christmas Eve its time to strike.
He rides down his mountain into Whoville, and absconds with each and every present, decoration and every morsel of every Whos Christmas feast. Now those Whos will stop singing or so he thinks.
Christmas morning dawns, and every excited Who in Whoville wakes up to the stark reality of their undecorated houses, their lack of gifts and their empty refrigerators. So they gather around in the center of town, join hands and start singing!
The Grinch hasnt stolen their Christmas at all. He stole the things that he thought made the Whos so happy, but he was mistaken. You see, the Whos knew that Christmas is not about presents and ornaments and fruitcakes.
While Dr. Seuss never mentioned the source of their joy, I like to think that theyre indomitable happiness came from knowing that Christmas is about God coming to earth, to call his people to himself.
When the Grinch saw that he had not stolen their joy, he realized that it wasnt the things of Christmas that made the Whos happy, it was the true meaning of Christmas that made all of Whoville sing.
This very profound Christmas story applies to Christians in a very real way today. Just as the Grinch was watching the folks of Whoville, the lost world watches the people of God. So rather than placing such high value on the things of Christmas, we must value the Christ of Christmas. Jesus, who, though he existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be held on to tightly. Rather he humbled himself and took the form of a slave
He had every right to be worshipped because he was the almighty creator. And yet he became like us so that through him we could have fellowship with the father.
When the lost world is looking at us today, what do they see? Do they see angry people protesting stores that wont allow their employees to say Merry Christmas? Do they see endless signs, posts and emails about keeping Christ in Christmas? When they see us acting like this, they equate us to the violent abortion protesters, those who hate homosexuals and radicals. They have even more reason to reject Christianity as a religion of hypocrisy.
When the lost world bothers to take a look, and they do look often, they need to see the Jesus who ate with tax collectors, played with children, fed the hungry, took care of the sick and spoke with prostitutes. They need to see his love and compassion. They need to see people who know that Christ can never be taken out of Christmas by mere words, and that he is more satisfying than the decorations, presents and feasts. Lets learn from the Whos so that we might attract the Grinches to take a look at Christ and, in him, find the true meaning of Christmas.