Summary: Discover a new passion for Christmas and overcome Christmas anxiety.
Series: Discover Christ in Christmas
A Spirit to Engage
Matthew 2:3-8, 16
December 10, 2000
I. The Story of the Grinch: One of my favorite holiday shows is the cartoon classic, How the Grinch Stole Christmas. The story revolves around an old, crusty, nasty, absolutely rotten character, the Grinch and how he hates Christmas. Specifically he hates the celebrations of the neighboring town of Whoville. So in typical Grinch fashion he devises a scheme to go into Whoville and steal Christmas right from under them. The Grinch then plans to disguise himself as Santa and go down to Whoville to steal all of their trimmings, toys and even their holiday roast beast. The Grinch follows his plan exactly and he goes into Whoville and steals every last trimming, tree, toy and roast beast. The Grinch piles everything on his sleigh and away he goes up to the top of Mount Crumpet to listen to the sound of crying in Whoville. As he listens for the Who’s to cry boo-hoo, he is surprised to hear the sound of their annual Christmas song rise above the hills from Whoville. He grabs his dog Max and says; “It came. Christmas came. It came without boxes. It came without presents or tags.” It is in this moment that the Grinch realizes that there must be something more to Christmas. The Grinch has a change of heart; he then saves the sleigh of stuff and returns to Whoville.
Can we learn something of value from this rotten character of the Grinch? I believe that we can.
II. Christmas comes not from stuff but from spirit
A. America has wrongly linked Christmas with commerce
1. We see Christmas with all the trimmings
a.) We get caught up in all of the gadgets and gizmos that make Christmas more noticeable
b.) There is nothing wrong with decorating and celebrating, as long as, it does not take the place of a true Christmas
2. We often forget that there is something more to Christmas
a.) Christmas is a season with rich traditions and deep meaning. It is one of the two greatest seasons in the life of the church!
b.) Christmas should be a season of spiritual revival. This is the time of year that Christ cannot be ignored!
c.) Christmas is not a time to kick back and relax but rather it is a time to be revived and refreshed by the power of God almighty!
B. America has lost the spirit of Christmas
1. Our society has created an empty Christmas
a.) We have removed Christ from Christmas. Thus, we have removed the hope of the season
b.) Christmas without Christ is nothing at all
1.) There is no reason to celebrate
2.) There is no reason to have hope
2. This opens the door for Christmas Anxiety
a.) We lose focus on our hope and our faith
b.) We enter into a self sufficient state of living
c.) What is Christmas anxiety?
THREE STAGES OF CHRISTMAS ANXIETY
I. The Agitation Stage (Verse 3)
A. Herod becomes agitated
1. Herod becomes disturbed by the Magi and their report
a.) Herod realized that there could be a threat to his power and position
1.) Herod spent his life in a quest for more power
2.) Herod was known for arranged marriages and arranged murders to climb the ladder of power