When I was growing up, my family would go over to my grandparent’s house every Christmas to watch Rudolph on their color TV. Of course, the story of Rudolph has very little to do with the story of Jesus – but that doesn’t mean there’s not an important message. After watching it again as an adult, I’m convinced the Island of Misfit Toys might just be one of the best illustrations of the church I’ve ever seen.
Those poor toys (like the train with square wheels or the Charlie-in-the-box) just didn’t fit in anywhere. Likewise, Rudolph with his red nose, and the elf named Dennis that would rather fix teeth than build toys, or Yukon Cornelius – none of them really fit in. But when Christmas came the year of the big winter storm, hearts were changed. Even the Abominable Snowman found his place putting a star on the giant Christmas tree.
Rudolph may not be a traditional Christmas story, but it’s a story of grace, nonetheless. It’s a story of outsiders being included and valued. It’s a story of misfits finding a home. The message of Christmas is that Jesus came for misfits like you and me. That is Good News!