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

Your full attention, please

My mother frequently uses the term "Listen to me!" as a way of getting my attention so that I actually stop, pay close attention, and hear out whatever her idea or issue is at the moment. It isn't always at the most convenient moment, nor is it always easy for her to get out whatever it is she wants to share. Yet, it is important enough for her to ask to for me to hear it, so I respond with, "I'm listening, mom", and she begins.  It isn't said in anger or in a moment of disappointment. Rather, these words are usually spoken in a "sing-song" manner, but with very specific intent - they are intended to get me to REALLY listen to what she was saying. Why? Because she knows she has something to say even if it is getting harder for her to say it! She has walked through much already, learned many lessons, and has the advantage of experience on her side, but the disadvantage of advancing age makes it harder and harder for her to actually form those t…

Getting at the heart of it all

Have you ever seen someone so good with their skinning knife they can just peel away the hide of an animal without a rip or tear, no waste of any of the meat just below that skin? I have seen some fishermen able to fillet their catch with such skill not even one bone is found in the fillet. How do they learn this skill? I think it comes to them through practice and with the employment of the right 'tool' to do the job at hand. There is comfort in knowing that God means what he says and his Word will come to pass. His Word is like the scalpel in the skilled hands of a surgeon or the knife in the hands of the skilled hunter. As a nurse, I have seen the skillful use of the scalpel - dissecting away the finest of tissue to protect the healthy tissue and to expose the tissue that has become devitalized by disease or decay. I have also seen the damage done by a "blade" in the hands of one not trained or at all skilled in its use. The difference is beyond description.

God m…

Be a little salt

Ever wonder why Jesus left his disciples with the idea of being 'salt on this earth'? We don't fully appreciate salt these days because we aren't as accustomed to how it was used during the times Jesus spoke those words. We often have to put ourselves into the culture where the words are being recorded in order to fully comprehend the significance of their meaning. In the days of the disciples, salt was a basic "staple" of life. It was that which acted as "preservation" for everything. It also was the main seasoning of the dishes prepared - although there were other spices, salt was a 'staple'. Perhaps we would do well to look at some of the other functions of salt in order to see what Jesus may have meant when he referred to our lives a salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of the earth.

"Let me tell you why you are here. You're here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltin…