I should have probably saved this for last, but I just preached about it, so I thought I’d actually begin here.
“How the Grinch Stole Christmas” stands as a classic, much in the vein of A Christmas Carol, about someone whose life was completely changed as a result of witnessing people being loving to each other in spite of terrible circumstances.
When you watch it, you KNOW what’s going to happen. You know, and even relish, how evil the Grinch is! He steals from SMALL CHILDREN, and he takes away what he thinks (and, to be sure, what most of us think) is the heart of Christmas, the presents under the tree. I know that YOU’RE thinking, “well, that’s not ME! I know what Christmas is all about!” Sure you do. But have you ever had all the presents under the tree STOLEN? A former pastor of mine had exactly this happen. It was okay, they were all fine, but he was shaken, and sad, and didn’t feel much like singing in community.
I think this is why it’s always a good reminder of what Christmas really is all about. It’s not about the song… what do they even SAY? It doesn’t matter, because they’ve joined hands and are singing, without any presents at all. It’s so beautiful, and so biblical, that it’s enough to cause the repentance (remember, all repentance means is “turning around,”) of the Grinch. He literally turns around and runs right back down the mountain, into the open arms of his enemies, and even sets up a table to feast with them.
That sounds something like Heaven to me, right here on earth.
The point, I think, is that we are ALL simultaneously Grinch and Who (with a little bit of Dog thrown in).
How’s that for Lutheran?