…don’t be like other reindeer. Be a Rudolph.

You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen, Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen. But do you recall the most famous reindeer of all? Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer had a very shiny nose and if you ever saw it, you would even say it glows. All of the other reindeer used to laugh and call him names. They never let poor Rudolph join in any reindeer games. Then one foggy Christmas Eve Santa came to say, “Rudolph, with your nose so bright, won’t you guide my sleigh tonight?”…

This Christmas song really presents a sort of chicken and egg question for everyone born after 1965 – which came first, the song or the movie/tv special that we all know and love?

The song did indeed come first and took a decade to develop during the 1930s and 1940s before finally being presented at the end of 1949. Interestingly, though Gene Autry’s version is the one we all look to as the original, the song was actually performed a month before it was released on New York City radio by Harry Brannon.

The story of Rudolph is one that opens up an archetypal view into our nature as God’s creatures. When someone is different, they are often looked at with disdain and fear. They are excluded and kept away from “normal” society. Even those “in charge” will usually overlook them and put them down. And yet, it is often what makes someone different that, in fact, makes them the unlikely, but essential hero.

To paraphrase what one young person said recently – it is what makes us different that gives us our superpower.

Rudolph is the champion of the underdog and thank goodness for him. Because it is the underdogs, the weirdos, the freaks, the unwanteds who usually keep humanity moving forward in the right direction.

So the lesson for today: don’t be like other reindeer. Be a Rudolph.

Traditional Hymns & Carols – Lift Up Your Heads

Lessons & Carols – God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

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