You know the kind of Christmas patterned after the movie, How the Grinch stole Christmas, in which the Who’s of Whoville gather around a tree without presents and sing anyway. To be honest, I found it refreshing not to be burdened down with all those expectations that go along with gift giving. Obviously, there are no children in our household as a Who Christmas would not work as well with younglings in the house or would it?
Hebrews 13 has been given to Christ Followers as a primer on love in terms of communal life and is the biblical exemplar presented in this movie. For it was the design of Christ in giving Himself for us so that He would purchase to Himself a peculiar people, zealous in good works (Titus 2: 14). After all, the central theme of Christianity is the indwelling Spirit of Christ which is love. “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends (John 15: 12-13).
In the text, brotherly love was in danger of being lost, and that in a time of persecution, when it would be most necessary; it was in danger of being lost by those disputes that were among them. And isn’t this the way of it in our world? Disputes upon disputes rule the day. Even within the community of Christ believers battle lines are drawn. Disputes too often produce a decay of godly affection and this must be stopped. Godly love must be restored and preserved. Our place in the world as Christ Followers, as salt and light, is to grow more in love with Christ who demonstrated His love for us in that while we were still sinners, He died in our place (Romans 5: 7-9). Thereby, His love is the motivation for our love of one another for His sake.
Hebrews 13: 2 encourages us not to neglect to show hospitality to strangers. In the movie, despite his malicious deeds, the Who’s did just this. What was the Grinch’s response? The Grinch repented and grew a new heart, three times its previous size.
Don’t you think it’s about time that we begin to seek the city which is to come and offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name (Hebrews 13: 14-15).
Welcome, Jesus, bring your cheer.
Cheer to all Whos far and near.
Jesus’ Day is in our grasp,
So long as we have hands to clasp.
Jesus’ Day will always be
Just as long as we have we.
Welcome Jesus while we stand,
Heart to heart, and hand in hand.