06 December 2013

Christmas Meditation ~ St. Nicholas

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St. Nicholas

Today is St. Nicholas Day!  St. Nicholas was a real man who lived from around 270 to 343 A.D. in Turkey.  A devout Christian, he was one of the council of Nicaea, which wrote the Nicene Creed still used today.  His generosity toward others, particularly the less fortunate and children is what he became known for, despite the fact that he gave most of his gifts in secret.  Today, in the USA, he has morphed into Santa Claus and the image of a selfless saint has been changed into a jolly giver of gifts to whoever  sends him list.

Historically, St. Nicholas Day, the day commemorating the saint's death, was the day for gifting and remembering the stories of his goodness and generosity.  Legend tells us that in St. Nicholas Day, long before there were chimneys in architecture, he tossed some coins through a window and they landed either in a shoe or a stocking.  In many places, children leave their shoes or stockings out on the night of December 5th with a bit of hay and some carrots for the saint's horse in hopes that St. Nicholas will leave them a small gift in turn for them find on the morning of St. Nicholas Day.

I found the following on www.stnicholascenter.org that I thought gave a lovely snapshot of who St. Nicholas is!

Santa Claus belongs to childhood;
St. Nicholas models for all of life.

Santa Claus, as we know him, developed to boost Christmas sales—the commercial Christmas message;

St. Nicholas told the story of Christ and peace, goodwill toward all—the hope-filled Christmas message.

Santa Claus encourages consumption;

St. Nicholas encourages compassion.
Santa Claus appears each year to be seen and heard for a short time;

St. Nicholas is part of the communion of saints, surrounding us always with prayer and example.
Santa Claus flies through the air—from the North Pole;

St. Nicholas walked the earth—caring for those in need.
Santa Claus, for some, replaces the Babe of Bethlehem;

St. Nicholas, for all, points to the Babe of Bethlehem.

—C. Myers & J. Rosenthal

"In all things I have shown you that by so toiling one must help the weak, remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, 'it is more blessed to give than to receive.'"
Acts 20:35

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm really enjoying checking in every day:) Thank you so much.

Laurie said...

What a beautiful post Lisa, I'm going to read it often, it really touched me.

wendy said...

I'm enjoying reading your post. Thank you for sharing!

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