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    Dec 31, 2017

    Sermon Christmas B 17 Grinch

    Preacher: The Rev. Joan Mason, Rector

    Series: Rector

    Category: Christmas

    Summary:

    Mother Joan's Christmas sermon on the Grinch Who Stole Christmas.

    Detail:

    Christmas Year B

    December 24-25, 2017

    Christ Church, TR

     

    (Grinch song playing)

     

    Sometimes we find the truest of meanings in the simplest of places – like a children’s book.  I have always loved the story of the Grinch.  The Grinch is a grouchy and wicked character who lives on a mountain above the town of Who-ville.  He absolutely hates that the people of this town, the Who’s, enjoy Christmas so much.

     

    (read from book)

     

    “Every Who down in Who-ville liked Christmas a lot

    But the Grinch who lived just north of Who-ville, did NOT!

    The Grinch hated Christmas!

    The whole Christmas season!

    Now please don’t ask why.

    No one quite knows the reason.

    It could be his head wasn’t screwed on just right.

    It could be, perhaps, that his shoes were too tight.

    But I think that the most likely reason of all

    May have been that his heart was two sizes too small.”

     

    (close book)

               

                The Grinch decides he is going to do something so awful, so bad.  He decides he is going to steal Christmas.  He puts on a pretend Santa Claus outfit, and gets on his sled with his dog Max dressed as the reindeer. And then late that Christmas Eve night, he goes to every Who-house and steals everything:  the presents, the decorations, the food and even the Christmas trees. Everything!  He is so happy.  He just knows that he has stopped Christmas from coming.  He can’t wait for them to wake up and find Christmas gone.  He puts his hand to his ear and he listens:

     

    (read from book)

     

    “And he did hear a sound rising over the snow.

    It started in low.  Then it started to grow…

    But the sound wasn’t sad!  Why this sound sounded merry!

    It couldn’t be so!  But it was merry!  VERY!

    He stared down at Who-ville!  The Grinch popped his eyes!

    Then he shook! What he saw was a shocking surprise!

    Every Who down in Who-ville, the tall and the small,

    Was singing!  Without any presents at all!

    He hadn’t stopped Christmas from coming!  It came!

    Somehow or other, it came just the same!

    And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice-cold in the snow,

    Stood puzzling and puzzling: “How could it be so?          

    It came without ribbons!  It came without tags!

    It came without packages, boxes or bags!”

    And he puzzled three hours, till his puzzler was sore.

    Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before!

    “Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store,

    Maybe Christmas…. perhaps…. means a little bit more!”

     

    (close book)

     

    And then do you remember what happened?  The Grinch’s heart grows 3 sizes at that moment and he has second thoughts.  He decides to bring the sled of toys, and the trees, and the decorations back to Who-ville, and the Who’s invite him to join with them in their Christmas celebration.  Such a heart-warming tale.  As I read this book this week, I realized that it stopped just a little too soon for me.  I imagined a new ending to the story.

     

    The Grinch didn’t get the whole story, but he was well on his way.

    Why were the Who’s so happy that day?

    Because Jesus is born. He’s come to be with us.

    He gives us a gift: God’s presence among us.

    So we can celebrate this day with all that we got:

    The presents, the trees, the food, the whole lot.

    But do not forget the reason we’re here

    To love one another and hold each one dear;

    To thank the Lord Jesus for coming to earth;

    To love us and help us from the time of our birth. 

    And if there comes a day when we act like the Grinch,

    Complaining, unhappy, not giving an inch.

    Remind us, Lord Jesus, how he found the way,

    In watching what others were doing that day:

    Praising and singing in the midst of their sadness,

    Not forgetting the reason for all of their gladness.

    “Jesus is born,” the angels did sing.

    Now we add our voices praising the King.

     

    My friends, Who-ville and the whole host of heaven and earth rejoices, for on this day a savior is born, a son given to us, and his name is Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  On this most holy of nights/days, I wish you a most blessed and merry Christmas.

     

     

     

     

     

    Quotes are from the book, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” by Dr. Seuss, Random House Publishers, 1957.