How The Grinch Steals Your Christmas

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How The Grinch Steals Your Christmas

Galatians 4:4-7

But when the time arrived that was set by God the Father, God sent his Son, born among us of a woman, born under the conditions of the law so that he might redeem those of us who have been kidnapped by the law. Thus we have been set free to experience our rightful heritage. You can tell for sure that you are now fully adopted as his own children because God sent the Spirit of his Son into our lives crying out, “Papa! Father!” Doesn’t that privilege of intimate conversation with God make it plain that you are not a slave, but a child? And if you are a child, you’re also an heir, with complete access to the inheritance.

We are all familiar with the Dr. Seuss holiday classic about the bitter green monster living in the hills above Hooville. There, isolated on the mountaintop, with no company except that of his dog, the Grinch devises the perfect plan to steal Christmas from those annoyingly happy Hoos living below. It is his belief that without the trees, and presents, and feasts that the Hoos will be too depressed to celebrate one of the best holidays of the year.

In an amazing turn of events, with all of their decorations, presents and food in a huge sack on the back of his sleigh, the Hooville Hoos wake up, make a beeline for the town square, grab hands and in a marvelous demonstration of the foundation of Christmas, they lift their voices in song together in celebration of their relationship. Listen to some of the words they sang:

Fahoo Fores Dahoo Dores
Welcome Christmas Come this way
Fahoo Fores Dahoo Dores
Welcome Christmas, Christmas day
Welcome, welcome fahoo ramus
Welcome, welcome dahoo damus
Christmas day is in our grasp,
So long as we have hands to clasp
Fahoo fores dahoo dores
Welcome Christmas bring your cheer
Fahoo fores dahoo dores
Welcome all Whos far and near
Welcome Christmas fahoo ramus
Welcome Christmas dahoo damus
Christmas time will always be,
just so long as we have we
Fahoo Fores Dahoo Dores
Welcome Christmas bring your light
Fahoo Fores Dahoo Dores
Welcome in the cold dark night
Welcome Christmas fahoo ramus
Welcome Christmas dahoo damus
Welcome Christmas while we stand,
Heart to Heart and Hand in Hand
Fahoo Fores Dahoo Dores
Welcome Christmas,
Christmas Day!

Touched by their meaningful display, the Grinch decides to return what he has stolen, and in perfect Who fashion, is welcomed and embraced with the same love the Whos shared among themselves.

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The truth about the Grinch Who Stole Christmas, is that the Grinch had it wrong from the very beginning. He thought to steal Christmas he had to take away the things, the decorations, the presents, and the food. When in fact, all the Grinch had to do to steal Christmas again was the very same thing he had been doing every year up until then. For sitting atop that mountain in his judgemental isolation far from the warmth and love of Whoville, the Grinch had been stealing Christmas for years. What he didn’t realize is that he had been stealing it from himself. And if we’re not on our guard, our flesh will turn us into Grinches who have Christmas stolen from us because we wont come down off our mountain.

In fact, the Christmas story at its core is about the restoration of relationships and the great lengths that God is willing to go, for us to have a chance at enjoying Christmas every day. Galatians 4:4-7 highlights the intentionality of God’s plan to fix the relationship that was broken with him. He didn’t haphazardly wait for a random moment, he didn’t wait for us to come to him. From the moment our relationship with him was broken, He had a specific time designated in the timeline of the world when he would implement an intentional plan that, highlighted by his coming to us, would give us the opportunity to embrace reconciliation.

But like the Grinch, we all have that moment when we have to choose to remain angry and bitter, or decide to allow love to overwhelm our hearts. True, it often times seems so hard to do. Especially when we review the laundry list of transgressions that has produced the feelings of frustration that dominate our thoughts. But when we allow love to fill us, like the Grinch, we access supernatural strength that allows us to do what seems impossible. We are able to lift loads that previously dragged and even crushed us. And more importantly, we are able to give the greatest gift of all to others, our presence through a loving relationship.

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Christmas is our designated time of the year to emphasize the incarnation, the coming of God in the flesh of a baby named Jesus through the womb of a virgin named Mary. But the real miracle of Christmas wasn’t the miraculous birth, the perfect timing, or even the heavenly announcement. The real miracle of Christmas is that God knew the greatest gift that He could give, was His presence with us. And like the Father, Jesus gives us the gift of His Spirit to be with us in our hearts. And that Holy Spirit serves as a constant reminder to us of an inheritance that is ours. As sons of God, we get to have Christmas every day, because Christmas isn’t about the decorations, the presents, or the feast. Christmas is about the reconciliation and restoration of relationships. And in the Kingdom of Heaven, just like in Whoville, that’s the only way to live.

The Grinch Stole the joy, the love, the peace, the unimaginable and uncomparable feeling of Christmas from himself for years because he chose to be bitter and resentful instead of reconciling his relationship with the Whos. True, we aren’t clear whether they ever made any attempts to initiate reconciliation, but I’m so glad that God didn’t wait on any of us to make the first step. The culture of the Kingdom of Heaven is one of healthy, reconciled, restored, and loving relationships built upon the same self-sacrificing love that was extended to us when we didn’t deserve it, and the same mistake erasing grace that is extended to us every day. As citizens of God’s Kingdom, let’s learn how to live Christmas every day.

The Grinch would have enjoyed many more Christmases if he’d simply had the words Paul wrote in his letter to the Colossians beginning at chapter 3 verse 12: Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

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