“Everyday – Ordinary/Sacred” by Rev. Blaine R. Wenger

“The Gospel in ‘Rudolph’”

When I was growing up, every year around Christmas time, the networks would come out with their usual lineup of Christmas Cartoons: The Peanuts Christmas Special, Frosty, Rudolph, etc. (Now, the Christmas specials start before Thanksgiving, and there are whole channels that play nothing but Christmas themed shows.)

Anyway – a broken Advent Wreath at church got me thinking – or made a connection, I guess. I think out of all the Christmas cartoons I remember, Rudolph best demonstrates some Christian ideals we should get from Christmas. (Don’t get me wrong – Peanuts has a great scene at the end giving the Christmas Story.)

Think about it. (If you’ve never seen it, I bet you can find it on the internet.)  In Rudolph – Rudolph gets upset and runs off. He has quite a journey. Along the way, he visits the Island of Misfit Toys – a place where odd, broken, toys that are no longer wanted end up. And he has run-ins with a fierce Abominable Snow Man. (And a bunch of other stuff too.)  By the end, the Abominable Snowman’s disposition has completely changed – he is accepted. And the misfit toys will get new homes.  Rudolph himself finds his place with Santa and the other Reindeer. And Rudolph’s elf friend who ran away with him, comes home with a new purpose.

No, the Bible isn’t mentioned, or Jesus. There are no Angels, or Shepherds, or Wisemen. But doesn’t this story embody so much of what Christmas is about? Transformation. New Life. New Purpose. Being Made Whole. Diverse People Coming Together As One.

These are all things we see in the Christmas story – if we have eyes to see. May that story, which changed the world so long ago, live in your hearts today – throughout this Advent / Christmas Season. And may we have eyes to see all the ways and places it is being lived out in the world around us.

Grace, Mercy, and Peace,

Pastor Blaine