Faith & Insight: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
One of my favorite parts of the Christmas season is the Christmas songs. I love the songs of the birth of Christ. “Little Town of Bethlehem,” “Silent Night,” “O Holy Night” are all great classics. “Silver Bells” is another one of my favorites (Did you know it was about The Salvation Army Bell Ringers?).
But my personal favorite will always be “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” Most people are surprised when I tell them Rudolph is my favorite. They think I would pick something less secular, but Rudolph gives such a great salvation story I have to pick it as my favorite.
You see, this red-nosed reindeer is a lot like me. I, too, grew up different than most of the other kids around me. I never felt like I fit in and can remember kids making fun of me until I realized I was big enough to stop them. I never was that smart, either; at least not by the schools standards. My first grade teacher once yelled at me: “You will never learn.” I don’t think she could ever understand how those words affected me. I was tested in early grade school and they put me in special education and never did re-test me. I graduated from high school thinking I was not smart and could never go to college.
Just as Rudolph had Santa believe in him, God believed in me. The world doubted me, and I believed the world, but once I put my faith in God, things changed. After I met Jesus, I felt called into ministry and knew I would have to go to college. It took a couple of years for me to work up the nerve, but I finally took an entrance exam and tested in the 92nd percentile. Since then I have completed two college degrees.
Rudolph was never expected to be the reindeer Santa would use to save Christmas, but he’s exactly who Santa needed. God is like that, too. He calls the least likely people to do the most extraordinary things. The Bible says “God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful.” God chooses people like you and me; ordinary people to do extraordinary things. Don’t ever doubt what you can do when God comes knocking on your door. He has called you for significance and the world can’t stop God’s calling on your life.
Lt. Mark Cyr is pastor of The Salvation Army, 661 Colorado St. Carson City, NV 89701. For information go to carsoncitysalarmy.org.