On this, the 50th anniversary of the modern classic “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer”, I dutifully record this year’s showing. It is a wonderful story as each character finds their own value. Rudolph has value as he guides the sleigh, Hermey finds value as a dentist, the misfit toys find value as Christmas presents, and even the abominable snowman finds value as he places the top ornament on the tree. The storyline meets our modern desire for value, as each of us spend our lives seeking to find our own value to society.
This modern desire for value has infected the Christian tradition. We are told that our value is derived from our talents and how we use those talents. We are told that to be of value, we must provide value. This endless drive often provides a sense of worthlessness when it seems we have failed in those efforts.
The Christian tradition provides a different path. Our value does not derive from what we can do, but rather who we are. We are created in the image of the Triune God, and our value is inherent to that creation. Our worth has no connection to our efforts or our skills. We have value completely derived from our creator.
As we are in the Advent season, we look forward to the birth of the Christ, the Son. The value of the Christ child does not derive from what He would accomplish, but who He is. And we, who are created in the image of God, have that same value.