Finding the Bible in ‘Rudolph’

Published 7:42 pm Saturday, December 3, 2016

As Christmas approaches, I know that I celebrate Christmas mainly because of Jesus. I understand that Santa Claus and Rudolph are not the center of Christmas.

However, I am taken back to my childhood, when I would watch Christmas classics on TV. The one that really stands out the most is 1964 classic, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”

The story of Rudolph is similar to the story of the shepherd boy, David. Rudolph’s journey wasn’t easy, for he was different from the other reindeer, just as David was different from his older brothers and the soldiers who battled against the Philistines.

Email newsletter signup

As the song and cartoon suggest, Rudolph was born with a red nose that glowed. His dad, Donner, wanted Rudolph to one day help pull Santa’s sleigh, but he feared that Rudolph’s nose would be a disadvantage.

Just as King Saul equipped David with armor for fighting Goliath in 1 Samuel 17:38-39, Donner concealed Rudolph’s nose so he would look like a normal reindeer. Just as David was uncomfortable with wearing the armor, Rudolph was uncomfortable with covering his nose.

Then, it was time for tryouts for Santa’s sleigh team. Things seemed to go well for Rudolph. He met new friends, met a doe named Clarice who thought he was cute, and he showed the coach Comet that he could jump high.

However, Rudolph’s actual nose was accidently revealed, and the young bucks made fun of him. Worst of all, Comet decided to ban Rudolph from participating in the tryouts, despite Rudolph’s ability to jump really high.

Only Clarice decided to see past Rudolph’s red nose, but her dad refused to see her with him due to his nose. That is somewhat similar to what David had to go through when Saul became jealous of David after his victory over Goliath.

Rudolph met a young elf named Hermie and an outgoing prospector named Yukon Cornelius, and they immediately became friends. They traveled to the Island of Misfit Toys where toys were left because no one wanted to play with toys like a “Charlie in the Box” or a spotted elephant.

At the end, Rudolph was asked by Santa to guide his sleigh, and all of the Misfit Toys had a chance to be a child’s favorite toy.

God directed Samuel to go to Jesse’s house to anoint one of his sons to become king. In 1 Samuel 16:7, God said to Samuel regarding Eliab, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature because I refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

Jesse had eight sons but brought out only seven of them. Probably in Jesse’s eyes, David’s job as a shepherd was far from being kingly.

Nevertheless, just as Santa chose Rudolph to guide his sleigh, God chose the young shepherd to be the next king of Israel.

Kenya Smith is a Suffolk native pursuing her bachelor’s degree in communications with a concentration in strategic communications and a history minor at Regent University. Email her at