Advent Devotional for Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Christmas Character: Dr. Seuss’s The Grinch from How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Suggested reading: How the Grinch Stole Christmas, either the book or miscellaneous cartoon or live-action films

Signs of Christmas abound all around us in the many secular and Christian symbols we see almost everywhere we look. Fir trees, wreaths, colored lights, fireworks, etc., are secular ones and create a sense of Christmas. Crosses, stars, manger scenes, the Wise Men, etc., are Christian ones and should remind us that “Jesus is the Reason for the Season.”

When I think of secular symbols, the Grinch has assumed an important role. This is because the Grinch can be both a secular and a religious symbol. How can that be? The Grinch, by his actions, displays the love that should overflow in each of us at Christmas. The story shows how a shallow and self-centered creature, one whose heart is “two sizes too small,” can become caring and giving through the power of Christmas. Indeed, we learn that his heart “grew three sizes that day” when he realized that Christmas comes even in the absence of all symbols, both secular and Christian.

Our giving of gifts to each other is an all-too-small and insignificant way to remind us of the “unspeakable gift” of our Lord. It should remind each of us of a life-changing prayer from the Bible: “Create in me a new heart, oh Lord, and renew a right spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10)

Elvin Smith