Matthew tells us that the birth of Jesus fulfilled a prophecy given about seven centuries earlier by the prophet Isaiah: “Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means, “God is with us.”
God is with us.
I must admit that I am a Dr. Seuss lover and during the holiday season, I look forward to watching the “Grinch Stole Christmas”. This well-known tale embodies much of what Christmas is about for some people. We see both joy and sadness side by side. I have always had a soft side for the Grinch. Because of his previous Christmas experiences, he has withdrawn from the festivities and finds himself resenting others who are having fun. The reality is, the Grinch is lonely, and when I watch it I am reminded of the many people who at times find Christmas to be a difficult lonely time. At the beginning of the tale we are told that the Grinch’s heart was two times too small, and he didn’t want Christmas to happen at all. Everything he could think of, he did, to ruin that day. But what the Grinch soon came to realize is that it’s not the glitter and presents and food that makes Christmas what it is – it is simply the spirit of the people; a people who know and embrace the good news that Emmanuel is with us.
My prayer is that the spirit of the people at Marble will remember the shut ins, or the ones who feel saddened because their loved ones are gone, or the people who do not have family to celebrate with, or the person who is hungry and cold on the streets, or the child who may be wondering if Santa will really come. At Marble the spirit of the people is seen in the advent small groups, in the gift exchanges, in the Christmas party for the children of Icahn House, in the numerous volunteers who call upon the shut ins, in the cards and gifts that are sent, in the worship services, and in the many random acts of kindness. The spirit of the people at Christmas time is what allowed Grinch’s heart to change and grow, in other words to feel loved and be able to show love.
The beauty of the “Grinch who Stole Christmas” is that it ends with a message of hope and new life. I have to believe that when we reach out to a brother or sister in need, our hearts change and the one we have come to know as our Emmanuel is with us, around us, and among us .
Shared by Rev. Kirsty DePree