3 Christian Messages that Surprised Us in THE GRINCH
By Tess Farrand, Staff Writer
Last weekend, Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures released their newest movie THE GRINCH just in time to ring in the Christmas season. The beloved Dr. Seuss story comes to life with the talents of Benedict Cumberbatch (SHERLOCK), Rashida Jones (PARKS AND REC), Angela Lansbury (BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, MURDER SHE WROTE) and many others. Yet perhaps the most compelling component of the revamped movie is its uplifting Christmas message.
Below, we’ve highlighted three insights on how THE GRINCH celebrates this important Christian holiday.
*Please note: the following does include spoilers**
- Community is important
The Grinch lives in isolation with his sweet pet dog named Max in a cave far away from the Whos. Audiences learn that being a forgotten orphan has shaped the Grinch’s heart to be callous towards others, especially during Christmas. Many scenes juxtapose the Grinch’s solitude with the happy and warm environment of all the Whos in Whoville. Although resistant at first, the Whos teach the Grinch that with kindness, coming together as a community helps to bolster love and unity. This was vital for the Grinch, and it’s important for audiences as well, to be reminded that we were not created to be alone.
“Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire…” – Proverbs 18:1a (ESV)
- Presents aren’t the reason for the season
Throughout the whole movie, Cindy Lou-Who wants Santa to help her mother be free from stress and hardship as a single parent, rather than receive a Christmas-sized gift. The idea of a child rejecting presents is virtually unheard of and truly refreshing! As the movie comes to a close, the Whos learn that all their presents were taken on Christmas morning. To the surprise of the Grinch, the community gathers in the town square to sing Christmas carols instead of being angry or frustrated. Here, audiences see that material objects are merely additions to Christmas, rather than the source of meaning. It’s the love, kindness and joy we give and receive that brings meaning to the season.
“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:19 (KJV)
- Jesus is the Savior of the world!
With a commercialized emphasis on Christmas these days, it’s encouraging that THE GRINCH inserts truth about the real reason for the season. THE GRINCH features Christmas carols like “God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman” which has a lyric that reads, “remember Christ our Savoir” and clearly alludes to the Gospel. Other themes in the movie highlight Christian ideas like honoring your parents, treating others with respect, repenting of wrongdoing (which the Grinch does at the end).
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” – Isaiah 9:6 (NIV)
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