Saturday, December 11, 2010

December 2010: The Roast Beast of Christmas

When I was young, every year we used to watch Dr. Seuss' "How The Grinch Stole Christmas." The Grinch lived on a mountain near a town called Whoville. The Christmas merriment of the people in Whoville was annoying him. So spitefully he makes plans to steal their Christmas joy. He steals all their decorations, every last present, all their Christmas food, even the roast beast. In his dark heart, he chuckles... "Now that you have nothing to celebrate about.... Finally some peace and quiet."

It is important to note that the Grinch is not just trying to restore the peace and quiet of his home. If truth be told, he is jealous of their joy. He is trying to steal what he thinks is the source of their joy... the presents, the Christmas decorations, the roast beast...

The next morning he waits to hear the sounds of sorrow as the people of Whoville realize their Christmas things are gone. But as the Grinch extends his ear toward Whoville it is not the sounds of sadness that he hears, but rather sounds of joy--"Fa-who-for-ay; da-who-dor-ay; welcome, Christmas, Christmas day."

At first he is furious. What's happened? All the presents are gone. All their Christmas food is gone. Even the roast beast is gone. How can they be happy? How can they still celebrate Christmas? He puzzles about this. And this is the turning point of the story. Suddenly a thought enters his mind. "Maybe Christmas doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more." This is where Dr. Seuss hits the jackpot. This is the realization to which every person who does not have a living relationship with Christ, must come. This is also the focus to which every Christian, who feels burdened by the hustle and bustle of Christmas, must return. "Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more."

The world only sees the presents, the decorations, the parties and the roast beasts of Christmas. But that's not the real Christmas. "It will come without ribbons. It will come without tags. It will come without packages, boxes or bags." The joy of Christmas is much more than any decorations, food, or presents. Christmas will come because the true meaning of Christmas is nothing more than a message. And this is the reason why no Grinch can take away Christmas. No Grinch can take away the spectacular good news that was proclaimed on that first Christmas night! "For born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord." Jesus was born a human baby to save us. Jesus was born to live the perfect life that we were unable to live. Jesus was born for the cross to bear the punishment for sin which we were unable to bear. Because He was born, we know the love of God. Because he was born, the door to eternal life was opened to us.

May you have a Merry Christmas.