Summary: 5 signs that will enable you to identify the grinches in your life

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Dec. 17, 2000 Matthew 2:1-18

“The Grinch who tried to steal Christ”


One of the best known Christmas stories of all time is the story written by Dr. Seuss – “How the Grinch stole Christmas”. This popular Christmas allegory has become the most popular Christmas movie of this year. I heard from one of the movie reviewers that over 100 million dollars was spent just on the make-up for this movie! It stars Jim Carrey as a green creature who just isn’t having any fun. And since he isn’t having any fun, he wants to make sure that no one else is either. Probably everyone here has either seen the original cartoon or the current movie or both. I am one of those who has seen both.

We all understand that there is no such thing as a town called “Whoville” with people whose noses are all permanently stuck up in the air and whose hair is put up in all kinds of outlandish styles. And we all understand that there is no green creature called the “Grinch” or the “Gr . . . Gr . . . Grrriinch!” as Cindy Lu would say it. But there are people who behave like the grinch, people who think like the grinch, people who believe like the grinch, and people who are hurting like the grinch. They don’t live in far away lands or in caves at the top of high mountains. They may be your neighbor. They may be your mailman. They may be your brother or sister. They may be sitting next to you this morning.

It would be easy to spot them if they had fur all over their body and had a green tint to their skin. But that isn’t the way with today’s grinches. They are much more subtle. They where the same clothes you wear. They have a wife, two kids and a dog. There are probably Christmas presents under their tree. So if there is so much similarity between a grinch and you, how do you know one when you meet one? How do you know if you are one? This morning, I want us to see 5 signs that will enable you to identify the grinches in your life. In order to do that, we’re going to look at a grinch whose story is told in the Bible – Matt. 2.

You know you’re a grinch if . . .

1. . . . you get upset when others invade your territory. (vs. 1-6)

In Dr. Seuss’ story, he introduces the Grinch as he is standing at the ledge outside his cave which overlooks the village of the Who’s. He’s there on that ledge with his arms crossed, his head slightly tilted to one side, a scowl on his face, and his foot tapping on the snow-covered ground. It’s obvious that he is irritated. And then we learn why his attitude is so sour at this Christmas time of year. It’s because he hears music from the village below. They’re blowing their horns, and whistling their whistles, and singing their songs and making such a racket that no matter how hard he tries, he cannot shut it out. “What do they think – those Whovillers? Do they think that I came up here all the way to the top of this mountain so that I could hear their music?” No, the Grinch came there to get away. He wanted nothing to do with Whoville, the Whovillers or Christmas.

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