notre dame montreal

Christmas Message

Sermon preached by
The Reverend Charles Royden
Christmas 2000

Poor old Rudolph. Life as a reindeer was not an easy one for a reindeer who stood out from the crowd. he was different from the other reindeer and this was made transparent in the 'red shiny nose.' The other reindeer were not nice to him, he was bullied because he was different. Even Santa who should have know better did little stop the teasing and ridicule to which he was subjected. Surely Rudolph would have had a cast iron case to take to a tribunal concerning his ill treatment? Until that is on one fogy Christmas Eve when it suddenly became obvious that Rudolph could have some use in the affairs of delivering presents.

Rudolph was chosen because his disability suddenly became useful. It was then when the authority figure of Santa had issued his approval, then that the other reindeer decided that there was more to this Rudolph than met the eye. He would become a reindeer with a purpose, his name would be written in history.

How different this Christmas song to the hymns that we sing at Christmas. For the wonder of Christmas is that God does not choose us when we are useful to him. he does not ignore us because we are different and considered to be useless. Not one of us is unloved or unappreciated by God. Indeed it would seem that God goes out of his way to choose that which the world considered to be weak, in order to demonstrate that it is by his grace alone that we are considered worthy.

In life we too can act like silly reindeer, we can be horrible to people around us because they are different, be it race, creed, sexuality, or social status. All of these things are just excuses which we can have to bully other minority groups or individuals. But for Christians it should not be so. We should be like Christ who choose to be born among the poor and the meek, who went out of his way to value those whom society did not value, the sinners, the prostitutes, the unclean lepers. Thank God this is the story of Christmas. Amen.


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