The Grinch Who Stole Christmas is one of my all-time favorite Christmas cartoons. Every year I try to watch it, and this year I hope my kids can watch it with me. Why? Well, besides Dr. Suess' uncanny ability to tell a story, the Grinch can teach us a lot about "life together"--especially during this holiday season. First, the Grinch teaches us that we were made for relationships. It doesn't take long to figure out that the Grinch is a miserable person. His face says it all. Look at him. He is one sad and disturbed dude. Why? Well, for starters he lives by himself in a cave, and he has no friends or family, save his poor little dog, Max. That's enough to make someone miserable this time of the year. And I would venture to say that the Grinch is not alone -- that is, in his loneliness during this holiday season. We were made for relationships. Sadly, Christmas is a revealer of our relationships, either having close and many or broken and few. But let's take it a step further.
The Grinch teaches us that loneliness and sadness can make us envious of others. As the story unfolds it becomes clear that the Grinch is envious of the Whos down in Who-ville. Specifically, what bothers the Grinch more than anything is the thought that when Christmas morning comes, all the Whos down in Who-ville will gather together to eat and sing.
And THEN They'd do something he liked least of all! Every Who down in Who-ville, the tall and the small, Would stand close together, with Christmas bells ringing. They'd stand hand-in-hand. And the Whos would start singing!
They'd sing! And they'd sing! AND they'd SING! SING! SING! SING! And the more the Grinch thought of the Who-Christmas-Sing The more the Grinch thought, "I must stop this whole thing!
But of course the Grinch couldn't stop Christmas from coming. Though he took all the presents and ribbons and wrappings, the next morning he gazed down at all the Whos in Who-ville and they were still singing. The Grinch couldn't believe it.
And he puzzled three hours, `till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before! "Maybe Christmas," he thought, "doesn't come from a store. "Maybe Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!"
And what happened then...? Well...in Who-ville they say That the Grinch's small heart Grew three sizes that day! And the minute his heart didn't feel quite so tight, He whizzed with his load through the bright morning light And he brought back the toys! And the food for the feast! And he...
...HE HIMSELF...! The Grinch carved the roast beast!
And so the Grinch teaches us one last thing. True joy can only be found in forgetting yourself and finding a community who shares in something far greater than what this world has to offer.
Friends, we are the community that has something far greater than what this world has to offer. So let's learn to let go of all the ribbons and wrappings of Christmas and let our light shine, and sing of our Savior's love ... just like all the Whos down in Who-ville.