Rev. Margaret Minnicks is an ordained Bible teacher. She writes many articles that are Bible lessons.
Some churches have services on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Some preachers do not focus on the birth of Jesus. Of course, they don't have to do so, but they miss a golden opportunity to preach to visitors who might not return until Easter Sunday.
There are so many stories surrounding the birth of Jesus. There is no shortage of finding one to preach about. Unfortunately, that is not always the case.
"How the Grinch Stole Christmas!"
Even if a church is not opened on Christmas Day, some preachers deliver a message about the birth of Jesus during one or more of the four Sundays of Advent.
Pastors, preachers, ministers, and other members of the clergy should leave their quantum physic messages for another worship service.
This is a true story, and I would not lie about something like this. It breaks my heart to even write about it. I attended a worship service on a Christmas Day expecting to be edified by what I would hear. I was very disappointed because the pastor preached a sermon based on How the Grinch Stole Christmas! according to the book by Dr. Seuss and the movie with the same title. It saddened me that the sermon was nothing about the birth of our Lord and Savior.
The pastor introduced her sermon by saying, "I know you have heard the story of the birth of Jesus over and over. This morning I am going to preach something different." I prepared my notebook and got my pen ready to take notes about some new spiritual revelation God had given her to share with the congregation.
The pastor continued, "Last night I watched the movie about the Grinch who stole Christmas even though I watch it every Christmas. So, I took that as a sign to share it with you this morning in case you have never seen the movie or read the book."
I adjusted my sitting position still thinking there would be a theological comparison between the birth of Jesus and the Grinch. I was disappointed because Jesus was never mentioned in the sermon. It was all about the Grinch.
I looked around and everyone else seemed to be enjoying the telling of the Grinch story. The children and the adults were clapping and saying "Amen" throughout the delivery. I began to wonder if I was missing something.
Tears About What I Had Witnessed
When the service was over, I could see people going to the pastor and telling her, "You really preached today." Some thanked her for sharing the story because they had never seen the movie.
Holding back tears, I hurried to my car and cried all the way home.
- I didn't cry for myself because I know the story about the birth of Jesus and everything surrounding it.
- I cried for the people who didn't know about the birth of Jesus and how His coming to earth was to save them from their sins. Many had gone to church to hear a word from God about His Son. Some had not been to church since Easter and might not return until the next Christmas.
- I cried for the people who said, "You really preached today." Either they lied or really thought she did preach. The latter is far worse.
- I cried for the children who were encouraged to go home and watch the movie themselves to see if what the pastor has said was true instead of being provoked to pick up their Bible to confirm the scriptures about the birth of Jesus.
- I cried for the pastor who should have known better. She missed a perfect time to tell about the birth of Jesus and then invite those who had not accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior to do so after they found out about Him. However, on that day they found out about the Grinch and not Jesus.
The pastor could have chosen any of the stories below to share, but she didn't.
- The Old Testament prophets foretold that the Messiah would be born hundreds of years before God sent Him to earth.
- Mary was told she would conceive a child.
- Joseph was instructed in four dreams how to handle the unusual situation.
- The angels told the shepherds about the birth of Jesus and they left immediately to see the newborn.
- The Magi (wise men) took three gifts to the child.
- King Herod plotted to kill the young child.
- The nativity scene.
Yes, I cried because nothing was said about any of the above topics.
The Grinch vs the Birth of Jesus
There is absolutely nothing wrong with watching How the Grinch Stole Christmas! There is nothing wrong with sharing the movie with the congregation. However, the timing was wrong.
Also, there was no comparison between the Grinch and Jesus. There was nothing spiritual about the speech that cannot be called a sermon. Not only did the Grinch steal Christmas, but He also stole that particular worship service. He was the focus of the sermon, and not Jesus Christ.