Summary: We are preparing for the coming of Christ by looking at points where our culture and the gospel of the kingdom intersect. What does Horton Hears a Who have to do with the gospel?
The Gospel According to…
Horton Hears a Who
November 30, 2008
It is advent time again. This marks in the Christian year a time of preparing for the coming of Jesus. It is a time of preparing for his coming again as well as marking the original coming of Christ as a babe in a manger. So in order to prepare ourselves for the celebration of his birth and prepare ourselves for his coming again, this advent season I am doing a series of sermons entitle, “The Gospel According To…”
It works like this. We are going to take a look at some popular movies and characters. Some of these are classic Christmas stories and some of these are based on some recent movies. What I want us to do is to look at some of these stories or narratives and discover where the kingdom gospel of Jesus and these stories intersect. We find some of the basic ideas of God’s good news about His coming kingdom in these stories. And we might find a few places where they fall short. This series leads up to our celebration of the birth of Christ.
This week we are going to look at “The Gospel According to Horton Hears a Who.” This sermon and next week’s sermon are based on simple and basic idea of the movie and book. It is a common refrain that defines the plot of the movie and book.
One day, Horton the elephant hears a cry from help coming from a speck of dust. Even though he can’t see anyone on the speck, he decides to help it. As it turns out, the speck of dust is home to the Whos, who live in their city of Whoville. Horton agrees to help protect the Whos and their home, but this gives him nothing but torment from his neighbors, who refuse to believe that anything could survive on the speck. Still, Horton stands by the motto that, "After all, a person is a person, no matter how small."
There is the kernel of gospel. A person’s a person, no matter how small. Here we find crucial element is God’s scheme of things. It is a basic idea in God’s kingdom. A person’s a person, no matter how small.
Speaking of little ones… The pastor trying to make conversation with a three year old girl asked her, “And where did you get those big brown eyes?”
She thought for a second and said, “They came with my head.”
A person’s a person no matter how small. We find the connection in multiple places in the bible. One being Luke 9:46-50. Now literally Jesus is talking about children. We should connect this to other passages that Jesus talks about not hindering the children. Bottom line is: Your spirit not your size makes the difference. A person’s a person no matter how small.
Remember that Jesus was once a helpless infant. In fact, shortly after Jesus was born, the king acting in Ceaser’s place called for the execution of all the Hebrew male children under the age of two because of the prophecy about Jesus. He was afraid.
The point for us is to remember every person is a person. Every person has the potential for service in the Kingdom. The greatest are those who serve. Even the least important person has full rights as a citizen of God’s Kingdom. It doesn’t matter how small physically, mentally, emotionally (and let me tell you there are a lot of small people out there emotionally), socially, financially, and spiritually a person is. They are welcome in the kingdom.
Our culture trains us to ignore the small people. We give the recognition to those who are big. Whether they are physically big like Shaq or Kobe or Lebron or they are big names like Bill Gates or even big stars like Brad Pitt or Harrison Ford, these are the important people. They are the ones we admire. They are the ones we listen to and we watch.
But in God’s scheme of things, a person’s a person no matter how small. In fact in God’s scheme, the least are the most important. The poor and marginalized and abuse and downtrodden are given God’s favor over the important, or wealthy, or famous.
Chris Tomlin wrote a worship song that I love simply entitled, “Famous One.” He says, “You are the Lord, the Famous One, the Famous, One. Great is Your name in all the earth.” God is God and we are not. None of us are. He is the one the deserves the recognition. And at the same we are treat others as we would like to be treated no matter where they are at in life.
As we enter this Christmas season, I want to challenge to make a special effort at treating people with civility, love, and respect. Don’t look through people. Don’t look past them. But see them. See them as a person who needs Jesus. See them as someone who needs love and respect and be treated with dignity.