Today we commemorate Nicholas of Myra, Pastor, or, as you may recognize him by his more secularly-known name, Santa Claus. Very little is actually known about Saint Nicholas, at least historically. Legend and tradition say that he was the only son of wealthy parents, known for charitable giving and said to have put coins in people’s shoes. Another favorite story of the man, at least in church circles, say that he struck Arius at the Council of Nicaea (the church council from which we get the Nicene Creed), a heretic who denied the divinity of Christ.
As much fun as these tales are, research affirms only this: that Nicholas was a bishop in the city of Myra in Lycia (part of modern-day Turkey) in the A.D. 300s. As always, let our commemoration of the saints point us to Jesus, the greatest gift the world has ever received.
“I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus, that in every way you were enriched in him in all speech and all knowledge— even as the testimony about Christ was confirmed among you— so that you are not lacking in any gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”
1 Corinthians 1:4-9