St Nicholas, Bishop of Myra (gotta love that)
Yesterday, while I was ranting about Santa Claus and astrology, much of the world was celebrating St Nicholas Day. St Nicholas, the man behind the legend. It is amazing how our creation of the mythical Santa is so engaging, we forget that there is actually a man behind the myth. Nicholas was born in the third century BC in what is now the southern coast of Turkey. He was born to wealthy parents who died during an epidemic while Nicholas was still a young boy. It is said that Nicholas gave away his entire inheritance to those in need. He became Bishop of Myra. His kindness and generosity are the things legends are made of. He loved children and was known to leave coins in the shoes of those in need.
So all of the stories, all of the fantastic visions of the North Pole and elves and flying reindeer… it all begins with a real man. It begins with a man who lived in a very real, very hash world. (I’m sensing a “theme” here. Sometimes God is not very subtle with me. ) Not only did Nicholas lose his parents at a young age, he lived in a time when Christians were persecuted. Bishop Nicholas was sent to prison for his beliefs. Still from the harshness of the reality of Nicholas the man, comes the beauty and wonder of St Nicholas. His story of giving truly took on a life of its own. We can see God moving in the life of a man in third century Turkey. The miracle of giving takes root in the world.
Grace and Peace at Advent
Grace and Peace at Advent.