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St. Nick

 

 

I really starting thinking about Saint Nicholas, when my son Ty, recently asked me if Santa Claus was real. Ty had just turned 12 the day before and I could tell that he really wanted the truth. I hesitated for a brief moment, not wanting to see my youngest child grow up, but decided to tell him the truth, which brought up the subject of Saint Nicholas.

Saint Nicholas was born around AD 270 in Patara, Lycia, in Asia Minor. He was born and raised by christian parents, who modeled for him lives surrendered to God.

Nicholas lived a life centered on Jesus. He cared for those in need and worked to bring justice in his sphere of influence. When Nicholas was a young man, his parents died, leaving him a wealthy young man. Instead of blowing the inheritance on himself, he chose to use the money to glorify God and help those in need. There are many legends of his generosity.

In AD 300, at the age of 30 he was made a Bishop in the town of Myra, in Asia Minor (the town is now known as Demre, Turkey). This was the time of persecution of the church and Bishop Nicholas, being an outspoken christian was tortured, arrested, and imprisoned with other Christians. He was eventually released when the christian Constantine came to power.

He was said to have been present in the council of Nicaea, in AD 325. He was said to have destroyed pagan temples, leaving evil spirits howling before him. Saint Nicholas was known for his generous heart and his unwavering support of those who were struggling with the injustice of the world.

Bishop Nicholas died in AD 343, but his legacy continues:

Saint Nicholas is the original Santa Claus. Saint Nicholas is known for sneaking coins into the shoes of children as they slept. To honor this gift giving Saint, December 6th has become Saint Nicholas day, to celebrate the day of his birth. Parents in many European countries still observe Saint Nicholas day, by placing small gifts, chocolates and other sweets in the shoes of their children on the eve of Saint Nicholas Day.

Over time, this tradition has evolved into the legend of Santa Claus and has become the focus of the Christmas season.

Santa Claus is about commercialism of the season. Saint Nicholas was all about Jesus and he would want our focus at this time of the year to be on Jesus and giving to those in need.

I shared the story of Saint Nicholas with Ty, along with the most important gift we have all been given, the gift of eternal life with God, when we receive the gift of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. Jesus gave us the most important gift we will ever be given: His life. It is all about Jesus and that is the way Saint Nicholas would have wanted it.

In this Christmas season, remember Jesus and make that decision to accept Him into your heart. I am here to walk you through this most important decision you will ever make.

I obtained the information on Saint Nicholas from http://www.stnicholascenter.org.

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