It is traditional for me to post something related to the "real meaning of Christmas" on this date each year. The following came to me this morning as part of a subscription to the "Inspiration by God" newsletter and I deemed it most timely and worthy of reproduction on Wrights Lane.
Many accounts have been written about the life of St. Nicholas, but "worldwide" he is known for his giving... Stories of his unselfish giving have followed him century after century since the 3rd century.
As it turns out - St. Nick was following in someone's footsteps! From the day Jesus was born, His entire life was about giving. He gave up His life, so that we could have eternal life. He is the Word made into flesh - St. Nicholas knew that and that is why he lived the life he did and why (regardless of how he is portrayed) he followed in Jesus' example and gave wholeheartedly to others.
St. Nicholas was born in Turkey in the third century. Historically, there isn’t a lot of documentation about him (after all he was born in about A.D. 280, but it is very interesting that his story has continued to live on in folklore. It is known that Nicholas was born to a wealthy family and when his parents died (while he was still fairly young) he inherited a considerable amount of money and he didn’t keep any of it. He is known for having given it all to charity.
While he was still a boy, a couple of miracles were attributed to him and later, while a young man, he was chosen by his people to be their Bishop in their small coastal village. It is from that village that the stories of his generosity began.
Many accounts have been written about the life of St. Nicholas, but “worldwide” he is known for his giving! Stories of his kindness have followed him century after century. He is known by a multitude of names in almost every continent (not sure about Antarctica!), and although – through story telling – he has been morphed into a white-bearded man with a jolly belly and a red suit and eight reindeer…St. Nick is still associated with unselfish giving and that is why Christmas is the perfect time of year to celebrate the birth of Jesus.
From the day Jesus was born, His entire life was about giving. He gave up His life, so that we could have eternal life. He was prophesied about for centuries before He was born! He is the Word made into flesh – St. Nicholas knew that and that is why he lived the life he did and why (regardless of how he is portrayed) he followed in Jesus’ example and gave wholeheartedly to others.
So enjoy this time of year – the Christmas Season is surrounded by a wonderment that simply cannot be explained. All over the world people decorate with bright colorful lights and we bring real or artificial trees into our homes just to have a special place for specially wrapped gifts…We sing some of the most beautiful songs that are meant to be sung at only this time of year - beautiful carols honoring the birth of our Savior (yes, there are some wintery, snowy, Santa Clausey songs too). We bake like there is no tomorrow just so we can share the sweets with the sweet people in our lives, but even more than that we also give like there is no tomorrow. Even those who have little to give, find a way to give. And isn’t it wonderful to know that St. Nick was following in our Lord’s footsteps? Jesus truly is the reason for this Blessed Season.