Thursday, December 6, 2012

Jolly Ol' St. Nick

"He's making a list
and checking it twice,
gonna find out who's
naughty and nice.
Santa Claus
is coming to town."
"Santa Claus Is Coming to Town"
by John Fredrick Coots & Haven Gillespies
United States, 1934

Do you remember being a kid on Christmas Eve? The excitement? The expectation? The insomnia?? The church celebrates the Feast of St. Nicholas on December 6th. St. Nicholas was a much-loved Bishop of Myra during the 4th century A.D., a time when many Christians, including St. Nicholas himself, were violently persecuted for their faith. (Persecution that served only to further the spread of the Church like fuel to a fire). 

St. Nick’s infamous generosity, legendary love of children, and yes, even his fluffy white beard live on today as the perfect cover by which we shower each other with gifts on Christmas Day. It’s a beautiful tradition that began with the most precious gift of all which was given to the world on the very first Christmas Day. We eagerly anticipate that gift during Advent like kids on Christmas Eve: a Savior who is Christ the Lord.

This gift, however, wasn't merited by an admirable lack of pouting. It was simply given.

"For by GRACE you have been saved through FAITH. And this is not your own doing; it is the GIFT of GOD." Ephesians 2:8

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