“Santa Claus” signed the Nicene Creed

Tomorrow, December 6, is the first of the feast days of Advent. Celebrated by congregations in the West and in the East, it is called St. Nicholas Day.  Yes, St. Nicholas is the man from whom all the stories of Sinterklaas, and later, Santa Clause, originate.

St. Nicholas was the Bishop of Myra, living from March 15, 270 and dying on December 6, 343. Nicholas was present  at the historical gathering of the Christian faithful, the Council of Nicea, from which the historic Nicene Creed came.  He was an original signer.  “Santa Claus” signed the Nicene Creed, one of our great creeds of the Christian faith. Pretty amazing…

St. Nicholas was known for his generosity to the poor. The story I like best sprung up after St. Nicholas’ death…

As the story goes, there was a very poor man with 3 daughters. In those days a young woman’s father had to offer prospective husbands something of value — a dowry.  The bigger the dowry the better the chance of a young woman would find a good husband.

Without a dowry, there was a chance the young woman might not marry and be destined to a life of slavery or worse.  Mysteriously, on 3 separate occasions, a bag of gold appeared in the home of these 3 daughters, providing them the needed dowries for their future husband who would then pledge to be faithful and honorable to his wife, taking care of her for her entire life.

The giver of that gold they say was none other than the gift giver himself, St. Nicholas.

** So I am wondering, is there someone you know who needs some support from you in perhaps secret but honoring ways?

** And maybe the marginalized person who needs the liberating gift of Christ’s presence this year is you?  St. Nicholas Day might just be the time for you to step out of your old system, your old way of doing things (“If nothing changes, nothing changes”) and set yourself free…

Happy St. Nicholas Day, friends.  Be free.  Give generously.  Have fun!  

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