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Inspiratonal Saint Nick
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Inspirational Saint Nick by Karen Pourbabaee
“Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven.” Mathew 6:20 NAS
St. Nicholas is best known as the real-life model for Santa Claus. He was the orphaned child of wealthy parents, becoming a priest at seventeen and later the Bishop of Myra in 4th century Greece. Known to live a holy and humble life from childhood, he used his inheritance to assist the needy, sick, and suffering. He was persecuted and imprisoned for his Christian faith. Legends say that, wishing to help others anonymously, Nicholas dropped bags of gold down the chimneys of people in need, or threw gold coins through windows where they landed in stockings hanging by fireplaces to dry.
Tales of his generosity soon inspired acts of charity and generosity by others. Gift giving became customary at this time of year. In France, he became Pere Noel, in England he was renamed Father Christmas, and was known as Sinter Klass by the Dutch. Early Dutch settlers in New York transported their tradition and Santa Claus made his American debut.
Indeed, gift giving is an important tradition of the Christmas season on our American shores. Gifts are an outward sign of love and affection to those we hold dear. And that is all good. But perhaps Nicholas had it right. He gave anonymously from a heart transformed by the gospel. A heart where Christ reigned. His life was a reflection of the words of the Lord in Mathew 6:20, “Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven.” Giving no importance to his earthly treasure, his heavenly account expanded.
Dear Lord…help me to be heavenly-minded amidst this Christmas season and seek after heavenly treasure with an open heart and open hands. Amen.
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