We all know the story, we’ve all heard it told,
of the Who’s down in Whoville, and the Grinch, bold and cold;
how the grouchy old Grump greatly hated their joys
and grinningly plotted to steal all their toys.
Oh, we watch every year, at least most everyone.
We watch, and we watch, as the dark deed is done;
as the Grinch takes the toys of the Who girls and boys
and away, on his sleigh, takes them all, without noise.
And up on a ledge, at the top of Mount Crumpit,
the meany old Grinch sits ready to dump it
all off the edge of the ledge to the pit;
he means to dump it all, yes, all of it.
“For what could he do worse than this,” he surmised,
“than take away all of these things that they’ve prized?”
But just as he’s ready to shove it headlong,
from the town comes a sound … “Oh no, it’s a song!”
A song, being sung, while the Who’s all hold hands.
A song that now echoes throughout all Who-land.
And a great celebration of life and its ways,
of family and friends and fun holidays.
And the grouchy and grumpy old Grinch-heart was stirred.
That heart two sizes too small had heard
something that made him see Christmas was more
than all of these “things” that were bought at a store.
And so he returned all the toys to the Who’s.
And all they thought lost they did not really lose.
So they all joined together at the grand Christmas feast,
and the Grinch, you remember, carved the roast beast.
It’s all a good story, with a good moral, yes!
Life doesn’t consist in the things we possess.
But is that all Christmas is, an Enlightenment tale,
of peace and good will, beyond things for sale?
Is Christmas just time for family and friends,
a year-ending festival of food without end,
with check accounts empty, and credit cards full,
a few sincere wishes, and a whole lot of bull,
when presents are given—some are hers, some are his—
is that really all we believe Christmas is?
Oh, I know a story, a story that’s old,
and of this story’s glory not the half has been told—
of Paradise first, and then Paradise lost,
of the deepest rebellion, and the terrible cost,
of the entrance into “Ourville,” not of an old Grinch,
but of that ancient Serpent, and sin and its stench,
and how he stole, not some toys, but life from our race,
leaving us with no hope, not even a trace.
But then the first promise of One who would come
and undo the undoing the Undoer had done.
From that moment on, as the story proceeds,
everything points to this coming seed.
From Seth to Noah to Shem it flows,
then to Terah and Abraham, it goes and it goes
on to Isaac and Jacob and then David the King.
The line can’t be stopped, not by anything.
Finally to Christ everything leads—
prophecies, promises, patterns, and seeds.
The portrait grows clearer and clearer, till the day
He appears in “Ourville” who will take sin away.
How perfectly, perfectly the round is maintained;
Paradise lost, now Paradise regained;
The way to the tree of life that was barred,
now opened in him once more, evermore.
It’s true, in the Garden the first Adam fell,
and if that were the end … what a story to tell!
But the last Adam came and took all our loss,
stood all the test, endured the cross,
paid what we owed, went to the grave,
then rose the third day, mighty to save.
It’s the story of sacrifice, of changing of place,
of love everlasting and infinite grace,
of sweet mercy offered to us, due the worst,
to be freely accepted, and freed from the curse.
Oh, we watch every year, least most everyone,
we watch, and we watch, as the great Deed was done.
From the grandeur of heaven to the grime of the stall
comes the Lord of all glory, and the great King of all,
who’s born there in Bethlehem that dark, starry night,,
for the purpose of making what’s wrong once more right.
We all know the story, we’ve all heard it told
this story of glory, and this good news of old.
Oh, for the wonder and witness once more
of our voices, with angels, raised evermore,
singing, shouting, filling earth with the praise
of the glorious Gospel of God’s mighty grace!