What do Rudolph and Jesus have in Common?
There is a children’s cartoon which I have watched at Christmas nearly every year called, “Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer.” I’m sure many of you have seen this classic at one time or another. The story is, surprisingly enough, about a reindeer named Rudolph. As many of you know, Rudolph has an issue with his nose. When he gets excited or mad, his nose lights up, whistles and glows bright red. His parents try to hide his problem by putting a fake nose on him because they are embarrassed and ashamed. They just want a normal buck for a son. Once his nose is revealed, all the other reindeer laugh and call Rudolph names. Rudolph becomes an outsider and is never allowed to play with the other reindeer. Since Rudolph is treated as an outcast, he decides his best option is to run away.
On his journey, Rudolph stumbles upon a group of toys which don’t have a home because they are all broken in some fashion, and they quickly become Rudolph’s new friends. The toys and Rudolph talk about their differences and how they feel forgotten. Rudolph can look past their differences because he understands how they feel. Rudolph promises his new friends if he ever returns home he will not forget them. Rudolph promises he will make Santa stop on Christmas Eve and find new homes for them.
Rudolph returns home to be ridiculed by the other reindeer, but his parents are very happy to have their little buck back. However, everything changes when a huge storm strikes and Christmas hangs in the balance due to the low visibility outside. Santa comes to Rudolph and asks him to lead the team of reindeer that pull his sleigh. Otherwise, there will be no Christmas.
Rudolph accepts Santa’s offer and leads the sleigh and tells Santa about his friends in the land of Misfits. Rudolph kept his promise, and Santa stopped and gathered them all and placed them on his sleigh to deliver for Christmas.
So what does this have to do with Jesus? More than you think!
Jesus was different too. Jesus was born of a virgin mother named Mary who was betrothed to a man named Joseph. It is not every day an angel appears to a mother (and later the human father) and tells them they are going to be the parents of the Messiah.
Can you imagine what they must have thought when the baby who they knew was going to be the Messiah, ended up being born in a stable with the animals? What a welcome to the world!
I wonder as Jesus grew into a little boy if he ever felt like he didn’t belong because he knew he was different? I wonder if his brothers, sisters and other children treated Jesus the same as they did each other. Were the other children told that Jesus was different? Was there any animosity towards Jesus?
I wonder what the adolescent Jesus’ parents thought when they were heading home from Jerusalem and could not find him, and they thought he was lost. I wonder what their response was when they found Jesus in the temple and he said, ‘Didn’t you know I would be about my Father’s business?
They say you can tell a lot about a person by the company they keep. However, I don’t think that is true. Jesus hung around those who society deemed “misfits,” but it didn’t make Him a misfit. Nor were the people that hung around Jesus greater misfits than anyone else.
We are all broken human beings who are in need of a “fix.” The “fix” is the forgiveness of sin and the gift of salvation. As believers, we are all “misfits” who are trying to fit in a world where we don’t belong. This world takes great pleasure in telling us as believers in Jesus Christ we are “misfits.” For once the world is right!
However, I don’t think being called a “misfit” is a bad thing anymore. The definition of a “misfit” is One who is unable to adjust to one’s environment or circumstances or is considered to be disturbingly different from others. My hope and prayer are this is how the world sees me! Don’t you hope as a Christ- follower this is what people see in you? I hope I do disturb people because of my walk with Jesus Christ and it would cause them to seek Christ as well. I don’t ever want to be content or conformed to a world that demands me to adjust to the standards of this world.
I would rather live in the land of “misfits” and be called a “misfit” than to belong to a world adhering to man’s standards rather than God’s. One day Jesus is coming for all of His “Misfits” and taking us home where His light will shine forever, and there is no threat of a snowstorm canceling His return.
But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that you should show forth the praises of him who has called you out of darkness into his marvelous light; 1 Peter 2:9