Sermons

Summary: Lucifer is no fairy tale but he is like that old Grinch in Dr. Seuss’ book. He keeps stealing the meaning of Christmas from everyone he can.

The Grinch That Keeps Stealing Christmas

by Pastor Jim May

There has been somewhat of a ruckus among the rich residents of California’s Silicon Valley lately. Six years ago, Alan Aerts and his wife spent $150,000 to create an amazing display of Christmas lights at their mansion in the city of Monte Sereno. The dazzling array of lighted Santa and reindeer, angels and singing Christmas carolers was so astounding that, for five straight holiday seasons, about 1,500 cars drove past the spectacle each night.

The problem is that these folks live on a dead end street with only a circle at the end to turn around. The traffic crawled one way to the end, rolled around a circle and crawled back again. Neighbors could hardly get out of their driveways. And besides that, every morning there was a mountain of trash that had to be removed.

Finally, a couple living across the street had enough. They got 90 other families in the community to join them in a complaint to the city council. The council then passed a stern law saying, “bah, humbug” to the Christmas lights. Since that day, no outdoor exhibit in Monte Sereno could last more than three days.

O-K, said the Aertses. Three days it is. But this year there would be no galaxy of glittering lights. Instead, they decorated their lawn with a single custom-made, 9 foot tall green, singing Grinch. And they made sure that the animated grinch, complete with bad teeth and red eyes, had an arm pointed directly across the street at their neighbors as it sings out the song, “You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch!”

Well, tonight I want to tell about a real “grinch”. Now, if you look up the word “grinch” in the dictionary, you might be surprised to discover that there is no such word. It is a word that was made up by Dr. Seuss when he wrote the book about the Grinch. But even though the word is not a real word, there isn’t a single one of us who doesn’t know what a grinch is like and he is one bad character.

The real story of the greatest grinch of them all started out long before the creation of the world.

God spoke something like 6000 years ago and with the word of his mouth created billions and billions of stars, hanging them in place in the vast emptiness and blackness of space.

Somewhere in the middle of all those stars, alone in the darkness he created a shining blue ball. There is the blue of the sky and the water, the white of the clouds, green grass, and purple mountains. God called his world, Earth, and said that it was good. This beautiful world became the home of God’s greatest and most cherished creation.

God’s crowning achievement in his creation was the creation of a living soul – the only thing out of all that God created that was given the spark of eternal life. All of creation had been given life, but no other creature had received the very breath of God to become a living soul. Every other creature had been given life that arose from the earth itself but there was no eternal spark; no breath direct from God in them. Thus we find that none of God’s creation has the capacity for eternal life except man that was created in God’s own image.

Genesis 2:7, "And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul."

God placed his most beloved creature, man, in a place of perfect peace, perfect provision and perfect communion with himself. It was God’s plan and intention that man would live forever, never to die, never to grow old, never to be sick and always to prosper. He wanted man to live in this state of perfection forever; to never know the wages of sin.

But God gave man one special ability that he gave no other creature. He gave man the power to reason, and to choose whom man would serve.

The question often arises, “Why would God allow us to have the power to choose to worship Him or not?” If we had not had that power to choose, man would not have fallen into sin and we could still be living in the Garden of Eden today. “Why did God give us the power to choose knowing that we would choose the wrong way?”

The answer is simple really. God wanted someone who could appreciate God for who He is and What He is, not just a robot who obeyed every command without question. God wanted someone who could know him for his love, mercy, kindness and his great ability to care.

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