Skip to main content

Rudolph - the red-nosed reindeer

There are many children's stories we tell during this Christmas season.  Some of them are "biblical" and others are a little whimsical.  The snowman come to life, dancing around with a top hat and a corncob pipe is a little whimsical.  The warning to be good and not pout when the jolly old St. Nick is on his way captivates the minds of children and might even remind them to be on their best behavior as Christmas approaches.  We would not want to forget the spindly fir tree taken home by Charlie Brown, adorned with the paper chain and given a little Christmas cheer.  One such whimsical Christmas story came out of a department store's desire to have something special to give to their children each and every year.  Montgomery Ward Department store had made it a Christmas tradition to give away a coloring book each Christmas season to the children visiting the store.  One such season, they commissioned their very own store advertising writer, Robert May, to come up with the coloring book.  Most of us know the story and can sing the jingle about this red-nosed reindeer.  The meaning behind it, though, may be a little bit of a mystery to all of us.  Robert May was a "taunted" or "bullied" child himself, so in creating this story of Christmas, he wanted to bring children everywhere the hope of one day emerging from their "fearful" place in society into a place of "prominence" and "acceptance".  I doubt that most of us knew that little fact, but it kind of speaks of just how important it is to consider those around us this holiday season - for many will be struggling with things hidden deep within, often with huge potential not really recognized until the moment of need exposes their greatest attributes and talents!  It also speaks of the importance of us loving all God's creation - not just those who look this way or that, dress in the latest of styles, or behave in just the right manner. All have supreme value in God's eyes!

You must love each other, just as I have loved you. If you love each other, everyone will know that you are my disciples.  (John 13:34-35 CEV)

If you have ever been ostracized from a group, you might associate with Rudolph!  We may not have a "shiny red nose", but we have figures which don't fit the latest of styles, hair that won't settle into any real trendy do, and smiles that don't gleam with the whiteness of a laser light!  At some point in our lives, we can somehow associate with "Rudolph" as the one who "stands out" in the crowd, not as the most "amazing", but in some other not so flattering way!  In those moments, it is important to remember the object lesson of the story - we ALL matter - we ALL have importance - we ALL belong!  I don't think there is a more important message we can give our children today, for it seems as though the "competition" to "belong" is harder today than it was when we might have been growing up.  We might have not had the newest of baby dolls or the largest collection of marbles as kids, but we somehow made it through.  Kids today are killing themselves and others just because they are bullied and ostracized from their peer groups.  What a tragedy!

Christ's coming into this world was the supreme gift - what he did when he gave his life is often not recounted enough during this season of giving.  Lest we forget the one thing Christ did in giving his life, let me call our attention to this one fact:  He leveled the playing field for all of us!  It was this gift of grace which began a revolution of sorts.  His story was the same - we have ALL sinned - no one stands out as more "righteous" than the next!  To this end, we ALL needed a Savior.  No one could save himself through any measure of good works and "better intentions".  Only by embracing the grace he freely offered to ALL who would receive can we be fully and totally transformed from our place of "sin-full" into our place of being "grace-full".  ALL need his grace - ALL come by the same means into the presence of God. No one stands out as unique or better.  

Maybe the Rudolph story is a little less than biblical, but it carries spiritual significance when we stop long enough to consider it.  The command Christ left with each of his followers was clear:  You MUST love each other - not as you might have once loved each other by looking for what another can give TO you - but as Christ loved each of us.  Christ's love was revealed in sacrifice - in the laying down of his life for each of us.  His love is revealed in each of us when we stop considering what we GET out of love, but begin focusing on what it is we BRING by being loving to one another.  

The red-nosed reindeer is in each of us.  We may not want to admit it, but we all need grace! We all need love!  We all need Christ!  Just sayin!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

What did obedience cost Mary and Joseph?

As we have looked at the birth of Christ, we have considered the fact he was born of a virgin, with an earthly father so willing to honor God with his life that he married a woman who was already pregnant.  In that day and time, a very taboo thing.  We also saw how the mother of Christ was chosen by God and given the dramatic news that she would carry the Son of God.  Imagine her awe, but also see her tremendous amount of fear as she would have received this announcement, knowing all she knew about the time in which she lived about how a woman out of wedlock showing up pregnant would be treated.  We also explored the lowly birth of Jesus in a stable of sorts, surrounded by animals, visited by shepherds, and then honored by magi from afar.  The announcement of his birth was by angels - start to finish.  Mary heard from an angel (a messenger from God), while Joseph was set at ease by a messenger from God on another occasion - assuring him the thing he was about to do in marrying Mary wa

The bobby pin in the electrical socket does what???

Avoidance is the act of staying away from something - usually because it brings some kind of negative effect into your life.  For example, if you are a diabetic, you avoid the intake of high quantities of simple sugars because they bring the negative effect of elevating your blood glucose to unhealthy levels.  If you were like me as a kid, listening to mom and dad tell you the electrical outlets were actually dangerous didn't matter all that much until you put the bobby pin into the tiny slots and felt that jolt of electric current course through your body! At that point, you recognized electricity as having a "dangerous" side to it - it produces negative effects when embraced in a wrong manner.  Both of these are good things, when used correctly.  Sugar has a benefit of producing energy within our cells, but an over-abundance of it will have a bad effect.  Electricity lights our path and keeps us warm on cold nights, but not contained as it should be and it can produce

Scrubbed Up and Ready to Go!

Have you ever considered just how 'clean' your hands really are? In nursing school, I remember this exercise we did where we rubbed hand lotion on our hands, then were told to go scrub them to practice a good handwashing technique. Most of us were going the extra mile by scrubbing back and front, in between the fingers and then even up above the wrist area. Surely our hands were clean, right? We came back to the room for the 'inspection' of our handwashing jobs only to find our instructor had turned the lights off, had a black light set up, and inspected our hands under that glowing beast! Guess what else 'glowed'? Our hands! The lotion was 'laced' with this 'dust' that illuminates under the black light, allowing each of us to see the specific areas around cuticles, under nails, and even here and there on our hands that got totally missed by our good 'handwashing' technique! What we thought was clean really wasn't clean at all. Clean