I was watching the old movie, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed
Reindeer” featuring the voice of Burl Ives the other night. One of the main
principles of the movie is the rejection of Rudolph because he is not like the
Although it wasn’t until later in the movie that Santa
discovered the real value of Rudolph’s glowing red nose, Santa always treated
Rudolph with dignity and kindness. Not so with the other reindeer. They
rejected him and excluded him from the fellowship and fun of the group.
Later, after Rudolph saves Christmas, everyone accepts
him and they live happily ever-after. Real life rarely works like that. Many
people will never accept someone that is different. When I was a kid I saw
other kids picking-on and making fun of someone in a wheelchair.
were absolutely cruel, but I did not have the physical size or emotional
strength to stand-up to them. I was often excluded, picked-on, and beat-up for
being different. How was I different? I did my work and was respectful to
teachers. I was a serious student and that made me “weird”.
have known many people who were excluded and reviled for being different. If an
individual does not fit the perceived mold of acceptability, they are treated
with contempt. The narrow, limited minds of the aggressors cannot see the value
limited mentalities are unable to value the differences in people and the value
of diversity. For them, everything is black or white, good or bad, valuable or
worthless. There is no middle ground for them.
small minds have caused many people to walk away from their calling and gifts
as a result of heartbreak. When someone is reviled and excluded, they are
believe every individual is endowed with the seeds of greatness, and I am
saddened by those who kill the spark of uniqueness in another person. We are
called to be in community with one another, but we are not called to decide who
deserves to be in that community (Thanks to former Bishop Ed for that quote).
are commanded, not requested, to love one another as Jesus loves us (See John
15:12). That command does not leave room for judgement. It does not allow for
division and dissention. It does not allow for bullying. What if Jesus is
saying, “Be nice, or else!”
all, if you believe that Christ will come again in power and great glory to
judge the living and the dead, why would you risk disobeying the simple command
to love one another? If you really believe that Jesus is coming again to exact
final justice, how will you react when it happens?
you say, “Yes, come Lord Jesus!” and run toward Him? Or, will you say “Holy
****, not yet!” Sorry, it will be too late to decide then. Please be careful.
Blessings and Peace to You
ST. ANDREW’S EPISCOPAL CHURCH
555 E. Third Street | Grove, OK 74344