Amen! Come, Lord Jesus! A familiar refrain during this wonderful season of Advent. And this is a great time to share the gospel through the imagery of Christmas that is all around us.
Our first opportunity is, of course, December 6, where we can wish everyone a “Happy St. Nick’s Day!” December 6 is the feast day for St. Nicholas, and his legacy appears to have made his entrance at the end of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Yes, Santa Claus is a great opportunity to share the truth about St. Nicholas. Nicholas was born in 270 A.D. and was raised by devout Christian parents in what is now Turkey, likely a legacy of faith planted by St. Paul as he planted churches in Asia Minor. Born to wealthy parents, Nicholas was orphaned early but he lived by his parent’s teachings to sell what he had and give to the poor, and Nicholas was known as one who shared his wealth with anyone who had need, with particular care for children. He became a priest, and then Bishop of Myra.
During his time as a Bishop, heresy was permeating the Church and the Emperor Constantine convened the First Council of Nicaea to address the Arian heresy. Arius argued so vehemently during that council for the subordination of Christ to the Father, essentially tearing apart the doctrine of the Trinity, that Nicholas, legend has it, became so angry with Arius that he punched him in the nose!
Not the best way to settle theological disputes, but I get it. There have been many times that I have been provoked by the profaning of the Messiah that I have wanted to punch someone in the nose. Fortunately, physical violence is not in my nature, and it is much better to withdraw into prayer. But the deity of Y’shua, his being of the same essence as the Father, is unequivocal, and essential for our salvation. God’s sacrifice of Himself in our stead is the only penalty that can pay for our great sin, and Y’shua’s resurrection is the foundation of our hope, especially in Advent. So, we have another greeting early in Advent…Ho Ho Homoousios! (The Greek word expressing one nature in the Nicene Creed.) You can get a great t-shirt with this Christmas greeting here. It would make a great Christmas present for your pastor!
Also, if your interested in our Advent devotional, you can find it on our Facebook page at the link below. Blessed Advent, Happy Chanukkah and Merry Christmas!