Hope for Living: Seuss classic holds message for our time

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By Brett Crump

Like many, I recently again watched the classic Dr. Seuss Christmas cartoon, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” The main reason the Grinch hated Christmas was due to all the “Noise, Noise, Noise!” it generated with all the kids and their toys. In the words of Grinch:

And they’ll shriek squeaks and squeals, racing ‘round on their wheels.

They’ll dance with jingtinglers tied onto their heels.

They’ll blow their floofloovers. They’ll bang their tartookas.

They’ll blow their whohoopers. They’ll bang their gardookas.

They’ll spin their trumtookas. They’ll slam their slooslunkas.

They’ll beat their blumbloopas. They’ll wham their whowonkas.

And they’ll play noisy games like zoozittacarzay,

A roller-skate type of lacrosse and croquet!

And then they’ll make ear-splitting noises galooks

On their great big electro whocarnio flooks!

But the thing that the Grinch “hated most of all!” was their singing:

Every Who down in Whoville, the tall and the small,

They’ll stand close together, with Christmas bells ringing.

They’ll stand hand-in-hand, and those Whos will start singing!

For those who may not recall the story, the Grinch came down from “Mt. Crumpit” (of all places!) on Christmas Eve and stole all the Christmas presents, decorations and food, then made it back up to Mt. Crumpit and waited in evil delight to see what would become of the Whos’ Christmas. And to his great amazement, the next morning, Christmas Day, the Whos down in Whoville still gathered together to sing:

But this sound wasn’t sad!

Why, this sound sounded glad!

Every Who down in Whoville, the tall and the small,

Was singing without any presents at all!

He hadn’t stopped Christmas from coming! It came!

Somehow or other, it came just the same!

And the Grinch, with his grinch feet ice-cold in the snow,

Stood puzzling and puzzling. “How could it be so?

It came without ribbons! It came without tags!

It came without packages, boxes, or bags!”

He puzzled and puzzed till his puzzler was sore.

Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before.

Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store.

Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more!

And what happened then? Well, in Whoville they say

That the Grinch’s small heart grew three sizes that day!

And then the true meaning of Christmas came through,

And the Grinch found the strength of ten Grinches, plus two!

And now that his heart didn’t feel quite so tight,

He whizzed with his load through the bright morning light.

The world may push a commercialized, sentimentalized and Christ-sanitized version of Christmas. The suffering, stealing and tragedies of life in the fallen “world with devils filled should threaten to undo us” (words from the hymn “A Mighty Fortress”). But those who know Christ can have joy in their hearts like the Whos of Whoville, not only at Christmas, but at all times.

May the glorious gift of eternal life that Christ Jesus brought cause your heart to sing this Christmas season and always!

Signing off from Mt. Crumpit…

Brett Crump is senior pastor of New Palestine Bible Church (newpalestinebiblechurch.com). This weekly column is written by local clergy members.