The time is coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and Judah. It won’t be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt. They broke that covenant with me even though I was their husband, declares the Lord. No, this is the covenant that I will make with the people of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my Instructions within them and engrave them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. They will no longer need to teach each other to say, “Know the Lord!” because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord; for I will forgive their wrongdoing and never again remember their sins.
“And what happened, then? Well, in Whoville they say — that the Grinch’s small heart grew three sizes that day. And then — the true meaning of Christmas came through, and the Grinch found the strength of ten Grinches, plus two!” — Narrator, How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Ah . . . the Grinch had quite a paradigm shift! He’d expected wailing and complaining in Whoville when their presents, tree and food were gone, and yet . . . they sang. How was it possible? The Grinch began to have some odd new feelings and changes in thought. His grouchy, bitter heart began to grow as he realized truths understood quite well in Whoville but totally new to the Grinch. Lights and sound . . . it’s Christmas!
Just as truths were written on the hearts of Whoville citizens, allowing them to celebrate with or without attachments, Jeremiah describes how God has written his covenant on our hearts. We are His; and this Christmas, let us celebrate that very grace. Perhaps our hearts will grow three sizes in the process, and we will find strength far beyond what we’ve known before.
Holy One, we are grateful for this children’s story with grownup truths. In this season, may we grasp anew the beauty of the simple, the song we can sing whether or not there are presents or trees or a table heavy with food. We see now that Christmas, like the covenant described by Jeremiah, is written on our hearts. May it vibrate there so that its waves will spread to many around us. Amen.