photo credit:master isolated images


December 6th was St. Nicholas Day... a day to remember a devoted follower of Christ who lived in Patara, Lycia (part of Greece in Nicholas' time, but today lies on the southern coast of Turkey).

There is not a whole lot documented about Nicholas... but this we do know...



Nicholas came from a very wealthy family and his parents, who raised him to be a devout Christian, died when he was quite young... leaving him a vast fortune.

Nicholas followed Jesus' words that appear in three of the four gospels...

"Looking at the man, Jesus felt genuine love for him. "There is still one thing you haven't done," he told him. "Go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."
Mark 10:21 (New Living Translation)

Nicholas used his inheritance to take care of the sick, destitute and the needy and at a very young age became the Bishop of Myra.  He was renowned for his love of children and his great care for the poor and suffering.



When I was a very little girl I had a Christmas book, long since gone, that told the story of this Greek saint.

There was a story/legend of how Nicholas supplied the dowry for three destitute sisters by throwing money through their window in three stockings, as he would give his gifts anonymously. This great act of kindness saved the sisters from an unsavory life!

The illustration in my Christmas book captured Bishop Nicholas in the act so beautiful... and as a small child I was captivated with the generosity and concern of this great man!

Nicholas... the gift giving... Christ following... Bishop of Myra is the original Santa Claus! He was beloved far and wide for his love of Christ and the outpouring of that love to others through gifts and money.

 His name and story grew as did his legend until he became the Santa Claus we know today. But like too many things, the original man and Christian roots of his story have become lost in today's commercialism and... well, greed!

I am not a Santa basher... oh, no! I certainly don't want to be put on the naughty list!

BUT...


We all must keep the true meaning of Christmas alive!


Christmas is a religious holiday.

It is a celebration to remember the birth of OUR LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST... period!


It is a day of celebration for all Christ followers... which often includes gift giving!

As you celebrate the Christmas season... remember gift giving is an outpouring of the greatest gift God has given humanity....HIS SON!

FOR UNTO US A CHILD IS BORN, A SON IS GIVEN.
Isaiah 9:6-7


Let's give gifts in the spirit of St Nicholas... with the love of Jesus in mind!

It is a time to care for the needy... the poor... and the suffering... just like Bishop Nicholas did so many centuries ago!




 
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