With the onset of this Christmas season, I have thrown myself into that great “Yuletide Tradition” of watching the animated version of the great Dr. Seuss classic tale, How the Grinch Stole Christmas. There’s nothing like a green, fuzzy, ugly dude to warm your heart, eh?

Especially striking to me are the subtle reflections of truth behind the antics and treachery of that mean, green guy. Though the story itself is neither explicitly religious nor Christian, within its rhyming phrases we glimpse the realities that led to that first Christmas night.

The story opens with the Grinch stewing about those joyful little creatures down there in Whoville. He has a problem, and it’s not the tightness of his shoes or the rightness of his head. It’s a matter of the heart. You and I are not all that different. No, rest assured, you’re not green, and your teeth look a lot better than his. But we all have a problem in the heart – sin. We may not like to use that word or talk about it, but unless we can acknowledge it, there’s little hope for change.

Indeed, it was that very problem of the heart that led to that first Christmas. When the angel announced the coming of the Christ child to Joseph in the gospel of Matthew, he said that they were to name Him Jesus, because he would save His people from their sins. He came to deal with the problem.

Back to the green guy now…

One of the delightful things about that classic story is the transformation that happens near the end. That heart that was too small grows three sizes that day. His heart is changed.

And that’s the source of real joy on Christmas, isn’t it? Ultimately it’s about a dramatic change of heart. My heart, broken as it is by the influence of sin, can be transformed so radically that the Bible tells me that it is completely new. In fixing the problem of my heart, God doesn’t just try to hold it together with duct tape and paper clips. He takes it and makes it brand new.

The irony in Seuss’ story is that the Grinch fails not only in keeping Christmas from coming for the Whos, he couldn’t keep it from coming in his own heart. It came…it came just the same. My prayer this Christmas is that the same thing happens to you.

The Waynedale News Staff

Pastor Keith Koteskey, Senior Pastor Avalon Missionary Church

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