Sunday, December 20, 2009

What do the Magnificat and Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer have in common?

Can you guess?  Do you know?

They are Christmas Songs.  They are songs of praise to God for the gift of Love, Jesus!

Ok, so before today, I would have agreed with the Magnificat's song of praise, but Rudolph?  Really?

I never really thought much about this favorite Christmas song, Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer.  That is, until today, when the kids sang it with great enthusiasm during children's liturgy!

So let me fill you in.

In today's Gospel, we heard that as soon as Elizabeth saw Mary, she exclaimed, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will have!"  Mary was filled with JOY and began to praise God in the song, "My soul glorifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior; for he has looked upon his servant; from now on all will call me blessed; the almighty has done great things for me; Holy is His Name!" And with these words, we had Mary's Christmas song!

We continued to talk about our Christmas songs today, both traditional and modern.  I tried to keep the songs focused about Jesus.  You know, Away in a Manger, Silent night, Joy to the World.  But they, the children, said their favorite songs were Rudolph, and Frosty the Snowman, Jingle Bells.  Yes, the secular world has taken over - or has it?

As we finished up, I had them sing Away in a Manger with me as I prompted them to think about getting ready for Baby Jesus' arrival.  They sang nicely.  Then I gave in, and asked them if they wanted to sing Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer.  Reminding them (and myself) that no matter what our favorite Christmas song may be, it should be a song of Praise for God's gift of Love.  We began to sing.  You should have heard the enthusiasm!  They were magnificent!  Rudolph was gloriously loud!  I was tempted to think, how sad that they are singing this with such excitement, yet they didn't want to sing any of the famous 'Church' hymns.  Then it hit me.  As I paused a moment to listen to them, (wow were they good!) I saw Rudolph in a different light.  I began to understand a new meaning for this favorite song; it goes something like this:

Rudolph the red nose 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 play in any reindeer games.

* WHAM  *
Yes, Jesus was also made fun of.  People laughed at Him and called him names, and didn't want Him to hang around - look at the Cross!  They wanted Him dead!

Then one foggy Christmas eve, Santa came to say, "Rudolph with your nose so bright, won't you guide my sleigh tonight!"

Santa, the Ultimate Saint, God the Father i.e: jolly old man with the white beard from the far North, as high North as you can go: Heaven.  Rudolph, again, Jesus following the will of the Father to guide us through the 'fog' from the darkness of sin into the right direction with His light.  Mary too was chosen, to bring this light into the darkness, and she is blessed for having trusted in what the Lord had said would be accomplished.

Then all the reindeer loved him.  And they shouted out with glee, YIPPY.  Rudolph the red nose reindeer; you'll go down in history.

Jesus lead with such a bright light, that the others repented and could see well enough to follow; working together to bring gifts to all those in need.  Interesting that the one who was different and seemed to have a weakness; the one who was set apart from the others was chosen to lead, and make history!

So this is my Rudolph lesson:  It doesn't matter if people make fun of us or persecute us for our little light of faith; for in the end, we will be the leaders lighting the way.  Our God Loves us and wants to use US, just as Santa used Rudolph.  With our weakness, we light the way; because our weakness is actually our greatest strength!

May we, too, be like Rudolph and allow God to use us to shine through the darkness!
Merry Christmas!

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