Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will.
To those of you who regularly visit Meditations of my Heart, this confession may come as a bit of a surprise - I love watching" Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer" every year at Christmas. It's been one of my favorites since I was a girl (yes, the show is older than dirt). Why? Because, it's a touching story with a Christian message.
What??? Really? Surely, you must be joking, Martha! It's a story about Santa and reindeer, the North Pole and elves, jingle bells and ho, ho, ho! Where is Jesus in THAT?
I'll tell you.
First, I see the Lord in the willingness of both Rudolf and Yukon Cornelius to sacrifice their own lives for their friends. Did Jesus not say, "Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends (John 15:13)?" And, in His great, infinite, wondrous love for us, did Jesus not make the ultimate sacrifice when He hung on the cross? Bore the sins of everyone? Died that we might be free? Risen that we might have everlasting life in Him?
That similarity in the Rudolph story would, indeed, be enough to argue in favor of a Christian message. But, there's more . . .
Rudolph, with his nose too bright, and Hermey, the elf who would rather be a dentist than make toys, are misfits. They are persecuted and shunned by their friends and family. But, instead of conforming to the demands of the society in which they live, Rudolf and Hermey decide to be "independent together." The leave the North Pole and set out to make their own way in the world.
As Christians, who are in the world but not of it, don't we all have a bit of the misfit in us, too? Aren't we often scorned or reviled by those who consider themselves wise in worldly ways?
And, wasn't Jesus considered a misfit by the Pharisees and teachers of the law? Certainly, our Lord did not fit any religious mold considered righteous by the establishment. Instead, they declared Him a blasphemer and turned Him over to the Roman authorities. We know the rest of that story . . .
No, being a misfit isn't safe. But, when it's for Jesus' sake, it is worth everything.
On the island of misfit toys, King Moonracer tells Rudolf and his friends, "A toy is never truly happy until it is loved by a child." That very Christmas, Santa collects all the unwanted toys and delivers them to boys and girls who will love and appreciate them. The boys and girls who will make them happy.
And, isn't that the way with us? We can never be truly happy until we understand how much we are loved by God. Misfits, in all our brokenness and frailties, trials and troubles, loved. By the King of the Universe.
Unconditionally . . .
And, because of this incomparable love, like Rudolph leading Santa's team through the murky fog, his red nose glowing, we can shine God's light into the darkness. Bring hope to others. Show them where true joy and happiness lie.
Misfits, you and I . . .
We can lead the way.
Do you have a favorite program which you watch at Christmas?
Will you pray with me?
Father, we thank You for loving us so much that You sent Your beloved Son, Christ Jesus, to die for our sins. May we always do Your will and walk in Your ways, shining Your glorious light into all the world. Amen.