A postcard for the Second Sunday of Advent, 12/04/22.
My version of an Advent wreath.
Saint Nicholas (a.k.a. Santa Claus) was a real person.
There are many legends told about Saint Nicholas, but we also know a fair amount of facts. Nicholas was born around 270 AD. He was not yet a priest when he was elected to serve as the Bishop of Myra. He likely attended the Council of Nicea in 325 AD, and he is remembered as working for the unity of the church. Nicholas was known for his humility and charity. He would pay marriage dowries for poor girls. He intervened on behalf of three innocent men condemned to death, as well as intervening for other unjustly imprisoned. Other legends say that he calmed a storm at sea, and others that he brought food during a famine.
Nicholas is the traditional patron of seafarers and sailors and of children. Many of the accounts of Nicholas’ life recount his habit of secret gift-giving to those in need, a tradition that many Christians have felt inspired to continue in his honor. As a bearer of gifts to children, his same was brought to America by the Dutch colonists in New York, from whom he is popularly known as Santa Claus.
Grant, Almighty God, that your church may be so inspired by the example of your servant Nicholas of Myra, that it may never cease to work for the welfare of children, the safety of sailors, the relief of the poor, and the help of those tossed by tempests of doubt or grief; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.Lesser Feasts and Fasts, 2018.
A sermon for the Second Sunday of Advent for St. Barnabas Episcopal Church, Roanoke, Alabama, 12/04/22:
Principal texts: Matthew 3:1-12
- December 11 – Messiah, Heflin — 3rd Sunday of Advent
- December 18 – St. Paul’s, Greensboro — 4th Sunday of Advent
- December 24 – St. Barnabas / Messiah / Holy Spirit, Alabaster — Christmas Eve
- January 1 – OFF