Christmas at the Movies – The Grinch and the Gospel – Discussion Questions


Christmas is an incredible reminder how the trappings and traffic of a busy season distract us from the true meaning of it all. Christmas is about God coming to us. Specifically, it’s about Jesus being born so he could grow and live a life that gives all people an all-inclusive relationship with God through faith in him.


What thoughts and feelings come to mind when you think about the Christmas season? What brings you the joy? Why? What steals your joy? Why?


This week, the film of focus was How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss. Pastor walked through the classic tale of the grumpy Grinch. The Grinch hated how the Whos joyfully celebrated Christmas, so he plotted to steal their joy by taking all outer appearances of Christmas, especially the gifts. The Grinch ultimately came to discover joy in the Christmas season while finding life and fellowship. The same is true for us when we come to discover the true meaning of Christmas – the birth of Jesus and the life, love, joy, peace, and fulfillment that is found in him. Have you received God’s greatest Christmas gift – himself? It’s available to all. To receive it we must only put our faith in Jesus’ birth, life, death, and resurrection.


1. Pastor Chris gave a brief history about why Dr. Seuss wrote the tale, How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Dr. Seuss came to the realization that he had been “Grinchish” (that is grumpy, ungrateful, bitter, intentionally isolated, etc.) towards life and the Christmas season. He realized he had lost the meaning in Christmas and wanted to discover (or rediscover) what he had lost. What distracts you from the meaning of Christmas and gets you feeling “Grinchish”?

Read Jeremiah 17:9.

2. During this Christmas season, what desires of your heart do you seek to bring you peace, joy, or sustaining fulfillment? Have these desires delivered the fulfillment you had hoped? Why so or why not?

3. The Grinch despised people celebrating Christmas joyfully. He says it’s because of the noise, but do you believe him? If not, why do you think it matters to him whether or not the people in Whoville jubilantly celebrate Christmas? After all, he’s at the top of a mountain away from them.

4. In the live action remake of The Grinch (2000), Cindy Lou Who climbs up to Mount Crumpit and invites the Grinch to celebrate the joy of Christmas with her and the townspeople. What do Cindy Lou Who and Jesus have in common?

Read Luke 19:1-10.

Zacchaeus was real person who was real Grinch-like. He was a tax collector (an occupation that made him one of the most hated men in Palestine) who, like the Grinch, literally stole from people.

5. What did Jesus do when he saw Zacchaeus? What did they do later that evening?

6. What commonalities do Zacchaeus and the Grinch share at the end of their written stories?

7. What transformed each of their lives?

8. To change his life, the Grinch needed to experience the love of the people in Whoville. Who do you know that needs to experience such love? How can you show them this love?


Pray as a group that God would reveal His pursuing love and ultimate gift of himself to all people so they may come to know Him (more or for the first time).


3. The Grinch was jealous for he was alone and joyless.

4. Cindy Lou Who and Jesus both go to people. They make the trek to reach the outcasts. They extend an invitation to come to a party (Luke 15:31). Read Exodus 40:34-38, 1 Kings 8:10-12, 1 Kings 9:2-3, John 1:14, John 14:15-18, and Revelation 21:1-3. Do you see a pattern of God going to people so they may know him and his gracious love better?

5. Like the people in Whoville, Jesus invites this thief to share a meal with him. More importantly, Jesus invites him into a relationship with God.
Jesus walks (goes) to Zacchaeus and speaks an invitation for him to come to him. They had dinner together. It’s helpful to know that in Jesus’ culture, Jewish rabbis (teachers) did not interact with sinners, especially ones who were marginalized as tax collectors. The act of a rabbi sharing a meal with a sinner inside of the sinner’s home was unheard and offensive to many, especially the religious leaders.

6. Zacchaeus, like the Grinch, experiences a heart transformation and a life change. He then repents and gives back all that he’s stolen. Ezekiel 36:26 (MSG) declares, “I (God) will give you a new heart, put a new spirit (the Holy Spirit) in you. I’ll remove the stone heart from your body and replace it with a heart that is God-willed, not self-willed. I’ll put my Holy Spirit in you and make it possible for you to do what I tell you and live by my commands.”

7. The Grinch’s life was transformed by the love of the people in Whoville, so Zacchaeus’s life was transformed by the life-changing love of Jesus Christ. Outside the walls of this church are Grinches waiting for their loving invitation.