I admit it – I’m a big fan of the old animated Christmas specials that once, long ago, marked what seemed to be the real beginning of the Christmas season.  Shows like the Little Drummer Boy, the Littlest Angel, Small One, Charlie Brown’s Christmas, the Cricket On The Hearth, and of course – the ever-tragic, but ultimately uplifting, Frosty the Snowman.

Charlie Brown and Frosty have withstood the test of time and still make their annual appearances just after Thanksgiving.  The others and many like them have long fallen from network favor, but thanks to eBay, yard sales and YouTube, they survive yet today.

And then there is Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer. Maybe it’s because of that crazy animation process used to make the film.  Or maybe it’s Burl Ives as the singing snowman.  Or maybe it’s even the elf who wants to be a dentist – the same elf I presumed for over four decades to be named “Kirby” until I Googled it last year and learned it is actually “Hermey”.  (Who names an elf Hermey?  Who names anyone Hermey?)  Whatever the reason, even now, Rudolph is the one Christmas special I’ll make a special effort to watch every Christmas season.

My guess is you’re familiar with the story – shiny nose equals no reindeer games until shiny nose saves the day, or more accurately, saves Christmas Eve.  All in all, this is pretty straightforward stuff.

But for some reason last Christmas, it was the Island of Misfit Toys that really caught my attention and brought the realization that a profoundly important message lies just below the surface of Rudolph’s tinseled story line.

There they are – the train with square wheels, the cowboy riding an ostrich, the Charlie-in-the-Box, a scooter for Jimmy, and the little doll with no seeming imperfection -all waiting for someone to love them.

Even on Christmas Eve they wait.  And they wait.  And they wait.

Tears fall.  Hope fades.  But finally – sleigh bells in the distant night!

Someone remembered.  Someone cared.  Someone came to save the day.

Even misfits need someone to love them.

Isn’t it the same in the real world?  Every day there are thousands of unborn children — kids the world deems as “misfits” — waiting for someone to love them too. Some misfits don’t look like us.  Some misfits have missing or misshaped pieces.  Some misfits just aren’t wanted.  But these helpless misfits all wait nonetheless.

Waiting for someone.  Waiting for you and me.

How ironic that the creator of these misfit children is Himself the original misfit, born into our world, born to be despised, born to be rejected, beaten, and nailed to a cross, born so that through His stripes we may all be healed.

Even on the night of His birth, His mother and Joseph could find no place other than a filthy stable into which a misfit King might be born.  But still He came to save the day, a misfit among misfits, a misfit who loves us more than we can ever really know.

The truth is, we’re all misfits in one way or another.  Every single one of us.  But He loves us anyway. Even with all the scars.  Even through all the tears.  Even when we don’t deserve it.  Even when it cost His life to set us free.

Knowing how great a sacrifice has been made for misfits like us, how can we do any less than to reach out and help save those misfit children in the womb who  — even on Christmas Eve – wait for someone to come and save the day.

May you enjoy a blessed Christmas.