“Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.”
The sickly green Grinch and his sly, wicked plans of stealing Christmas from the innocent Who'”s has captivated our home since our children were little. As Christmas traditionalists, we prefer the 1966 animated version, as opposed to the recent attempts to modernize this Christmas fairy tale! I still gasp when the mean Grinch steals the roast beast and the last can of Who Hash! (By the way, what is roast beast?) I, too, lean into the screen and listen intently with the Grinch to see if his efforts to steal Christmas have succeeded. As soon as the first notes of music are heard from Whoville, my heart also swells three sizes bigger as the Grinch realizes that the true meaning of Christmas does not come from packages, boxes, or bags!
Like the Grinch, King Herod, a political figurehead set up by the Roman government, tried to stop Christmas from coming. With the arrival of the wise men in Jerusalem looking for the birth of a king, Herod consulted the chief priests and scribes, learning about the messianic prophecy. Recognizing that these prophecies threatened his status and power, he struck a deal with the wise men, hiding his true purposes. His plan failed when the wise men and Joseph were warned in dreams to avoid Herod. Yet, Herod was determined to stop the Messiah, killing any baby boy born in the Bethlehem vicinity that was two years and younger! His killing spree ended the lives of many children and the hopes of many parents. However, despite his diabolical efforts, Herod could not stop Christmas from coming! Today, COVID-19, death, controversial elections, family difficulties, job losses and heartache may be making attempts to keep Christmas from coming, taking our joy and hope with it! But like the first Christmas, Jesus lives, and his life not only provided hope for those parents whose lives were directly impacted by Herod, but for us today as well!