Claus or St. Nicholas?"
Pastor Jerry Selleck,
Holton United Methodist Church
see me as a scrooge, but I dont care much for Santa Claus. Its not that the
stories about a jolly gift-giver from the North Pole are bad, or that the accounts of his
chimney-surfing with 8 flying reindeer on Christmas Eve are damaging to children. In fact,
our ideas about Santa Claus are quite modern, and uniquely American. Millions of children,
and their parents, enjoy the Santa Claus legend every Christmas.
problem is that this fun, Americanized, Santa Claus, overshadows a much deeper and
inspirational person, whom our children should know about. That person is St. Nicholas,
who was very real, very Christian, and worth celebrating.
Nicholas was a Bishop in Myra, Turkey, during the 4th Century, when Christianity was quite
young. He gave up a wealthy life, to serve Jesus Christ, and was so influential in the
growth of the Church, that there are more Churches named after him in the world, than
anyone else! Over the years, his name has morphed from St. Nicholas, to St. Nick, Sinter
Klass, and yes, Santa Claus. Legends abound about his sacrifice, generous spirit, and
passion for Jesus Christ. In Europe and the Middle East, they celebrate St. Nicholas on
the day of his death: December 6th, NOT
fact, his bones are still in a church in Bari, Italy to this day. Forensic experts were
able to look at those remains, and concluded that Nicholas was about 5 feet tall, with a
broken nose, and probably quite skinny from constant fasting! But what a powerful man he
was for his Lord.
give St. Nicholas your attention. He gave up everything to serve Jesus, and had a passion
for Christ we need to have. And above all, teach our children his example.