Summary: Christmas is the season for change
Classic TV Christmas
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Christmas is the Season of Change
Dr. Seuss’s How The Grinch Stole Christmas has always been a favorite of mine.
In this annual Christmas story, the old Grinch who lives on a mountain has been annoyed by the merriment of the Who-ville townspeople at Christmas. According to Dr. Seuss, the Grinch’s heart is two sizes too small, so the Who-ville holiday decorations and celebrations disturb him. Most of all, he is deeply bothered by all the noise, Noise, NOISE of their Christmas morning festivities!
To counteract their Christmas joy, he takes all of their decorations, every last present, all their Christmas food, and every ounce of Christmas preparation that could be bundled up and taken away. The climax of the story (and I hope I’m not ruining it for those who are unfamiliar with the Grinch) is that on Christmas morning, as the sun is coming up, the Grinch looks down on Who-ville, hoping to see their Christmas day sorrow when they realize their Christmas things are gone. But before the Grinch can even slink back to his cave, the Who’s down in Who-ville start singing their Christmas music, joyously gathering together.
"Fa-who-for-ay; da-who-dor-ay; welcome, Christmas, come this way; fa¡Kda¡Kwelcome, Christmas, Christmas day." They continue, singing, "Christmas day is in our grasp so long as we have hands to clasp." The Grinch can hardly believe his ears. He begins to get furious, but then something happens. He suddenly puzzles how Christmas came. "It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes, or bags." Suddenly the Grinch realizes that Christmas is about more than presents, or decorations, or a feast. He has a thought he’s never thought before: "Maybe Christmas," he thought, "doesn’t come from a store; Maybe Christmas perhaps means a little bit more."
HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS REMINDS US THAT CHRISTMAS IS THE SEASON OF CHANGE.
TRANSISTION This is the truth that Isaiah hints at in his prophecy more than 400 years before birth of the forgiver.
Turn with me to the Prophet Isaiah. He writes one of the longest books in our Bible and he addresses numerous subjects and issues. He would be the main voice of God in the land when the northern kingdom of Israel would be destroyed.
Looking forward to the coming of the messiah he pens a prophetic word, turn with me to Isaiah 9:2,3.
Isaiah 9:2, 3
The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned. 3 You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; . . .
TRANSISTION This morning we are going to be reminded that Christmas is the season of change by remembering three things.
Christmas is the season of change because. . .
I. Things were not always this way.
2 The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.
A. We used to Walk in Darkness
Let me give you three facets of what Isaiah means to Walk in Darkness
1. Enslaved to shameful and destructive ways (sin).
Have you ever been enslaved to a bad habit?
Anyone here ever bite your nails in secret.
Did you used to be a closet drinker
Sneak food into your room as a child.
Drawn to the wrong websites on the net.
On the hit television show LOST, one of the strand castaways is stashing food and secretly binging on it. He filled with shame, yet he is unable to stop so he’s gorging on ranch dressing, and peanut butter.
Isaiah reminds us that we were once trapped like that in sin.
We Walked in Darkness
2. Unable to navigate life with purpose and meaning.
When I was in the USCG we were once lost in NY harbor. Our compass had been removed for recalibration. Heavy fog had sucked in and all of NY harbor was down to about 100 feet of visibility. So there we were between Brooklyn and Staten Island, lost unable to navigate, unable to fulfill our purpose all we could do was run in circles.
Isaiah reminds us that we are all once like that, lost if a fog of meaningless and purposelessness.
We walked in darkness.
3. Endangered, constantly on the verge of calamity.
Walking in Darkness also represents the reality that once we lived in an endangered way. Where just around the corner calamity lurked ready to destroy us.
In Newton Iowa, a teen out with friends goes to a Halloween fun house. He is enjoying a good time laughing and joking with friends. In an act to demonstrate his bravado he throws opens a door and rushes into the darkness. He falls headlong down a flight of steps and dies.