Sunday, December 1, 2013

December Theme: Inviting Christ into Our Homes for Christmas

Christmas comes every 25th of December, and often the first things we think about as the holiday approaches are the gifts we plan to give, or maybe ones we wish to receive.  Everyone seems in a hurry- bustling about crowded shopping centers, fighting for discount buys and the last Turbo-Man action figure1… all too late we remember the reason for the season. 

A favorite Christmas classic comes from Dr. Suess’s story, How the Grinch Stole Christmas. The devilish Grinch determines to steal away from Who-ville all the presents, wrappings, stockings, trees, ornaments, and treats in an effort to stop Christmas from coming!

Three thousand feet up! Up the side of Mt. Crumpit,
He rode with his load to the tiptop to dump it!
“Pooh-Pooh to the Whos!” he was grinch-ish-ly humming.
“They’re finding out now that no Christmas is coming!
“They’re just waking up! I know just what they’ll do!
“Their mouths will hang open a minute or two
“Then the Whos down in Who-ville will all cry Boo-Hoo!
“That’s a noise, “grinned the Grinch,
“That I simply MUST hear!” So he paused. And the Grinch put his hand to his ear.
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!
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!
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!”
(Dr. Suess, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, New York: Random House, 1957.)2

Have we come to the Grinch’s realization- that maybe Christmas “means a little bit more”?  The Christmas spirit does not come from pies, from presents, or from parties.  The true Christmas spirit is the spirit of Christ. 
We remember Christ, who was born in a humble stable.  His mother, Mary, who wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and Joseph who cared for his new little family.  The angel who brought the good tidings to the shepherds.  The shepherds who left with haste, to worship the baby Jesus.  And the wise men who brought their gifts in honor of the Christ child.

Church Apostle, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland stated, “Perhaps this provides an important distinction we should remember in our own holiday season. Maybe the purchasing and the making and the wrapping and the decorating… should be separated, if only slightly, from the more quiet, personal moments when we consider the meaning of the Baby (and his birth) … [We] need to remember the very plain scene, even the poverty, of a night devoid of tinsel or wrapping or goods of this world. [And focus on] that single, sacred, unadorned object of our devotion—the Babe of Bethlehem.”3

So we want to start off, from December 1, remembering Christ.  We read in Luke 2, in the events leading up to Christ's birth, that there was "no room" for Mary and Joseph in the inns.4 We hope that this Christmas season, we will make room in each of our homes for Him.  To learn of Him- to prayerfully read and ponder his life, to learn of the importance of his birth, and of His life’s mission.  Our hope is that this Christmas, we will be able to find, and strengthen our relationship with, Christ.  That we will invite Him into our homes for Christmas.

1. 20th Century Fox Film, “Jingle All The Way”
2. Dr. Suess, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, New York: Random House, 1957.

Published by: McKell


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