Jim Burns Homeword Daily Devotional for Parenting and Christian Family

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HomeWord - Dec. 16, 2008




Christmas: When Your Heart Grows Three Sizes 
This devotional was written by Jim Liebelt

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. Ezekiel 36:26

In Dr. Seuss' classic Christmas tale, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, the Grinch suffers from having a small heart. The source of his heart problem is his lack of understanding the meaning of Christmas. As the story goes, the Grinch tries to put a stop to Christmas, but in the end, he comes to understand what Christmas is all about and his heart grows three sizes! This heart change makes a big difference in his life.

I'm not sure what Dr. Seuss' intentions were when he wrote the story back in 1957, but it certainly comes across as a Christian parable to me that parallels the change that takes place in a person's life when he or she comes to understand the true meaning of Christmas: the birth of Jesus, God's Son, who was born to save His people from their sins (Matthew 1:21). When the light of the Good News of Jesus dawns upon the heart of a person, God replaces the old heart of stone, with a new, fleshy heart - and a new person emerges. As the Apostle Paul wrote, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old has gone, the new has come!" (2 Corinthians 5:17)

"Welcome Christmas - While we stand - Heart to heart - And hand in hand."[1] It might just make all the difference in the world.

Holy Child of Bethlehem, 
Descend to us, we pray; 
Cast out our sin and enter in; 
Be born in us today!

We hear the Christmas angels 
The great glad tidings tell; 
O come to us, abide with us, 
Our Lord Emmanuel! 
(from O Little Town of Bethlehem)

We celebrate Christmas because of the power Jesus brought to change our hearts.

Going Deeper: 

  1. Give an example of a time when you changed your mind about something. 
  2. How did the words or actions of others influence your change of heart? 
  3. Towards the end of the story "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," what happened that caused the Grinch to change his mind about Christmas? What lessons might we learn from the story? 
  4. How has understanding the true meaning of Christmas made a difference in your life?

Family Time: Gather your family together and watch the classic half-hour Christmas cartoon, How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Then, using the content above, lead your family in a discussion about how Jesus has the power to change our hearts.

Jim Liebelt is Senior Editor of Publications at HomeWord


[1] How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Copyright © 1957, Dr. Seuss. 

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