My favorite Christmas verse is John 1:14, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
I love that verse because it equates Jesus with the Word of God, and the thought of the living Word coming to us as a helpless baby wrapped in a blanket sends chills down my spine. Our Jesus lowered Himself from His lofty position as the living Word, creator and Son of God to become our Savior. Amazing selflessness. Amazing love. So how does that amazing love relate to the Grinch that Stole Christmas?
I have always loved the story of the Grinch, not because my heart is two sizes too small (I hope), but because there’s redemption of his heart in the end. Between the book, the animated movie, and the Jim Carey movie, they’ve all hinted at the spirit of Christmas being about love and something bigger than themselves.
This new animated version doesn’t just tip its hat to the Christian theme, it embraces the reason for the season. As a matter of fact, the Christian movie reviewers “Plugged In” applaud the movie for subtly pointing, “to the holiday's real meaning, the celebration of Christ's birth, through some of the Christmas carols that many in Whoville sing. Nearly the whole town joyfully sings ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,’ and a smaller gathering of friends and family intone ‘O Holy Night.’ Cindy Lou tells the Grinch that sometimes when she just closes her eyes and listens to people singing Christmas songs, ‘all your sadness goes away.’”
Beautiful, the thought of the Grinch’s heart growing turning him into a loving, compassionate and others-centered “person” takes me back to the amazing love of Jesus who changes our hearts and reminds me of another verse.
Ezekiel 36:26-27, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.”
Much like the Grinch, our hearts are the problem. Instead of being too small, they are simply made of stone.
But God had a plan for our stony hearts, wrapped in flesh and wrapped in blanket laying in a manger, a baby to save ourselves from sin and death. Merry Christmas!