Sermon November 27, 2011, on Matthew 1:18-25.
What is Christmas? It is not the holiday rush, or the songs we sing and the throngs we navigate. It is a humble baby in a manger.
Worship not the wrappings and trappings of the season, but the Christ of Christmas. This advent season we are going to rediscover Christmas.
In Dr. Suess’ book How the Grinch Stole Christmas! the Grinch, a bitter, cave-dwelling creature with a heart "two sizes too small", lives on snowy Mount Crumpit, a steep, high mountain just north of Whoville, the home of the merry and warm-hearted Whos. The Whos go about their holiday preparations with shopping, mailing packages and cards, decorating their homes, planning the Christmas feast with the Who pudding and roast beast, and a Whobilation extravaganza.
The Grinch is critical of the commercialization of Christmas and those who profit from exploiting the holiday; not because he is so much better, but because he is jealous of the joy they seem to have. He thinks their joy comes from the hoopla, but in the end the Grinch decides, “Maybe Christmas... doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps... means a little bit more!” The Grinch and the Whos discover Christmas is about relationship.
Today we will look at the hope we find in relationship with God through the birth of Jesus, Emmanuel – God with Us.