How the Grinch stole Christmas:
Read from the Grinch who stole Christmas up to the Page “Then he got an idea! An Awful Idea! The Grinch got a wonderful awful idea!
And you all know what the idea was right? Play video clip – “You’re a mean one Mr. Grinch”.
Read conclusion and -- Say, be sure you are not a Grinch this Christmas – ok?
Reread from the Grinch who stole Christmas up to the Page “Then he got an idea! An Awful Idea! The Grinch got a wonderful awful idea!
And you all know what the idea was right?
We know the story: How the Grinch got dressed up as Santa Claus, how he dressed his dog Max up as a reindeer and how he went to Whoville and stole Christmas.
How he climbed up on the roofs of the Whos, slid down the chimney and stole their stockings, and everything that was under their trees, stole all their Christmas treats and all of their who feasts. Why he even stole their last can of who hash. And then he stole their tree. It was when he was stuffing the tree up the chimney that he was interrupted by . . . you guessed it Little Cindy-Lou Who, who was not more than two. And she asked a relatively simple question “Santy Claus, why, Why are you taking our Christmas tree?
Why?” And the Grinch did what any good Grinch would do at that point, he lied. “Why, my sweet little tot,” the fake Santy Claus lied, “There’s a light on this tree that won’t light on one side. So I’m taking it home to my workshop, my dear. I’ll fix it up there. Then I’ll bring it back here.”
And when he was done he went to all the other Who houses stealing everything leaving crumbs much too small for all the Who’s mouses. And when he had loaded up everything into his sleigh, he had Max pull it to the top of Mt. Crumpit to dump it..
And as he stood savoring the moment he said “Pooh-Pooh to the whos! He was Grinch-ish-ly humming. “They’re finding out now that no Christmas is coming!
They’re just waking up! I know just what they’ll do! Their mouths will hang open a minute or two then the whos down in Who-ville will all cry Boo-Hoo.”
You got to hate hate the Grinch, he stole Christmas. And so because we’ve read the book seen the tv special, watched the movie and can sing the song we all know that someone who doesn’t like Christmas is a Grinch. And nobody wants to be a Grinch, do they?
I’m sure that you know the history of the Grinch. The book was first written by Dr. Seuss in 1957. Nine years later in 1966 the cartoon was released with Chuck Jones, an old friend of Seuss’s doing the animation. Boris Karloff narrated the story and Thurl Ravenscroft who provided Tony the Tiger’s voice in Frosted Flake commercials sang “You’re a mean one Mr. Grinch” CBS ran the cartoon every year for 22 years.
Of course in 2000 a live action version of the classic was released with Jim Carrey in the title role and you either loved it or hated it.
I realize that there are all kinds of Ginches out there.
Grinches who don’t even know they are Grinches. As a matter of fact if you told them they were a Grinch they would probably be personally offended.
There was a time that if you were a person who didn’t truly get into the Christmas spirit you were called an Old Scrooge, from Dickens Christmas Carol, today you are just as likely to be called a Grinch.
I have said all of this to say –
So who are some of the Grinches who steal Christmas?
1) The Classic Grinch:
This is the Grinch that Dr. Seuss was writing about. It wasn’t Christmas itself that the Grinch was upset with it was anything that made life more enjoyable.
And so The Classic Grinch isn’t opposed to Christmas per se instead it is all that Christmas represents. People like this have kept the milk of human kindness bottled up so long that it has indeed curdled.
Ebenezer Scrooge was a classic Grinch, -
He hated Christmas for the same reason as the Grinch but we are not too sure what those reasons were. In the book some guesses are offered.
“The Grinch hated Christmas. The whole Christmas season! Now, please don’t ask why. No one quite knows the reason. It could be his head wasn’t screwed on just right. It could be, perhaps his shoes were too tight. But I think that the most likely reason of all may have been that his heart was two sizes too small.”
Now I know and you know that there isn’t anyone here today like that, right? But if there was I would say “Lighten up!” Start to enjoy life because you won’t get out of it alive anyway.
Remember what Solomon wrote in ==
Proverbs 17:22 “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.”
But not every Grinch is a general everyday classic Grinch some are specialized Grinches for example there is the –
2) The Secular Grinch.
You can recognize this type of Grinch by their language. They never say Merry Christmas: it’s always Seasons Greetings or Happy Holidays. They don’t put up a Christmas Tree they put up a holiday tree, their idea of a classic Christmas carol is Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer or Frosty the Snow Man and they cringe at the very sight of a nativity scene.
These folks aren’t opposed to Christmas as a matter of fact they seem to embrace the holiday almost in its entirety.
Almost; it’s not Christmas they have a problem with its how” the church” has tried to make something religious out of Christmas. They want to go to their Christmas parties and get paid on their Christmas holidays and send out Christmas Cards, which of course don’t actually include the word Christmas anywhere in them.
They buy and give and receive Christmas presents they decorate their homes with Christmas lights but they won’t acknowledge that the first part of Christmas is Christ.
And so schools are told they can’t celebrate the true meaning of Christmas and shops and store don’t put up nativities anymore and sales clerks are told to avoid the “C” word and to say things like “Have a nice holiday” instead of “Have a Merry Christmas.”
On the other side of the coin are the people I would call the ==
3) The Religious Grinch.
You know who I’m talking about. They would go to the other extreme and take everything secular out of Christmas. For them Christmas is about Christ and nothing else.
If it was up to them they’d have Santa get a real job, fire the elves and put the reindeer in a zoo.
Now I know that Jesus is the reason for the season, ok, don’t get me wrong on that. But hang on to your chairs and don’t throw me out just yet.
In 2014 he’s not the only reason for the season. There are social reasons; people use this as an opportunity to connect with family and friends they’ve been out of touch with.
There are religious reasons, don’t confuse this with Jesus being the reason for the season. Christmas is a time that people are God aware or at least religion aware.
There will be thousands of people attending church this Christmas and it will have nothing to do with a relationship they have with God and everything to do with how they perceive their religious obligation.
There are even economic reasons for the season. I’m not sure what would happen to the retail sector of our economy without Christmas. I’m not sure that people would buy the same amount of stuff the rest of the year. The money that is spent not only on gifts but on decorations, travel and food is staggering. Is that bad? A stimulated economy is good news for most of us.
2000 + years after the birth of Christ it is virtually impossible to separate the true meaning of Christmas, that is celebrating His birth, from all of the cultural, social and religious traditions that have come together to form what we think of as Christmas.
And then there is the ==
4) The Pious Grinch:
These are the people that would do away with Christmas in a heartbeat. But not for the same reason that Grinch Grinches would do away with Christmas.
They look at some of the pagan roots of Christmas, and a lot of
how we celebrate Christmas does have background outside of Christianity.
They tell us that the date of Christmas was originally used in pagan celebrations in Rome to celebrate the passing of the winter solstice.
And they are right, the ancients knew that by this time in December that the shortest day and longest night had passed, and with that came the promise of longer days, shorter nights and eventually spring.
Around 270 A.D. Emperor Aurelia capitalized upon the heathen worship of the sun and declared December 25th as the birthday of the Unconquered Sun.
But when Christians celebrate this December 25th they won’t be doing so to recognize the promise of longer days or to remember the birthday of the Unconquered Sun.
In 1 Corinthians 8 Paul addressed the issue of meat that had been sacrificed to idols. Some believers felt that the meat was impure because of its pagan beginnings. It had been offered up to false gods.
Paul said 1 Corinthians 8:4 So now, what about it? Should we eat meat that has been sacrificed to idols?
Well, we all know that an idol is not really a god and that there is only one God and no other.
And I guess that’s my thought, we can dwell on what December 25th used to represent or we can focus on what it’s supposed to represent.
Well I got through those four and had to ask myself “where do I fit in?” Because the reality is that at times there might be a little bit of a Grinch in all of us.
Anyone want to hear again the end of the story and see what happened to Mr. Grinch?
So what’s the answer?
Let us close w/ one more story –
“The Greatest Stories Ever Told”
Read Luke 2:8-20
2000+ years ago Jesus Christ was born after Mary and Joseph traveled a great distance to get to the town his family was from. On that first Christmas there was a star and there was singing and gift giving. The shepherds were told to rejoice and to celebrate.
And you know and I know Jesus probably wasn’t born on December 25th, and we know that there have been abuses of Christmas both past and present.
However, I don’t think it’s wrong to celebrate the birth of Jesus. He came to offer us the greatest gift we could ever receive, the gift of forgiveness and eternal life.
And it all started in a manger in Bethlehem and that’s worth celebrating. Amen?
And that is why anyone who knows the true story of Christmas should never – never be a Mr. Grinch!
If today you are in danger of letting “The Grinch” steal your Christmas for any reason – pray and ask The Lord Jesus to help you NOW.