December 2018 Letter

The Real Saint Nicholas


Years ago, on the popular television show To Tell the Truth, celebrities would try to figure out which of three candidates was telling the truth about his or her occupation. At the end of the show, the host would ask, “Would the real [fill in the blank] please stand up? If Santa Claus were on the show, St. Nicholas would have to stand up.


St. Nicholas of Bari, the bishop of Myra in the fourth century, is the real Santa Claus. Exactly how a kindly cleric from present-day Turkey got associated with an overgrown, red-suited elf from the North Pole is hard to figure.


The real Santa Claus was well known for his kindness and generosity, especially to the poor. One legend says he tossed bags of gold in the open window of a poor man’s house to help with his daughters’ dowries. The gold is supposed to have landed in stockings dangling on the corners of the beds, which would account for the custom of hanging stockings for Santa Claus to fill. At any rate, St. Nicholas was linked with gift giving, and, in many countries, children still put out their shoes on his feast day to be filled with presents.


Almighty God, You bestowed upon Your servant Nicholas of Myra the perpetual gift of charity. Grant Your Church the grace to deal in generosity and love with children and with all who are poor and distressed and to plead the cause of those who have no helper, especially those tossed by tempests of doubt or grief. We ask this for the sake of Him who gave His life for us, Your Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.


Advent & Christmas Blessings!


Pastor David A. Feddern