Friday, December 6, 2019

Friday, December 6, 2019

Detail of a miniature of St Nicholas;
from the Melisende Psalter, Jerusalem, 1131-1143, 
Egerton MS 1139, f. 209r.

Amos 5: 1 – 17 
Psalm 16, 17
Jude 1 – 16 
Matthew 22: 1 – 14

December 6th is the Feast Day for St. Nicholas. Since my husband is from the Netherlands, we have always celebrated this holiday. St. Nicholas was one of the most popular saints in the early church. He dedicated his life to serving God.  He obeyed Jesus’ words to “Sell what you have and give the money to the poor,” and he used his whole inheritance to assist the needy, the sick, and the suffering.  In the Netherlands, St. Nicholas is known as “Sinterklaas,” and he rides through the streets on a white horse to determine if the children he meets have been well behaved. The children put carrots and apples in their wooden shoes for the horse. The next morning, they find chocolate letters, cookies and some gifts.
The Feast of St. Nicholas is about giving rather than receiving for “It is in giving that we receive.” Christmas then is a holy day reserved for the celebration of the birth of Christ and not a day centered on the opening of gifts.
The Season of Advent is the time when Christians prepare to greet Jesus who comes into our lives each day. It is a time of longing and quiet reflection, not celebration. 
St. Nicholas is a good Advent saint.  It is said that he did many amazing things; but it is how he did these things that matters. Nicholas became popular because he was such a faithful follower of Jesus. His life clearly reflects the way each of us is called to show God’s love to others, especially those in need.

M. Lynne van der Hiel

Detail of a miniature of St Nicholas; from the Melisende Psalter, Jerusalem, 1131-1143, Egerton MS 1139, f. 209r.

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