Friday, December 25, 2015

Feliz Navidad


With the fast pace Christmas day here, a house filled with wrapping paper and kids fighting over toys, and road rage on the highway as people head to grandmothers house is anyone still really thinking of Jesus?  Is this still His birthday?  Has Santa taken over, does he have victory over Jesus?

    I think to answer these questions we need to first think through what each of these situations look like.  First off I will admit that my kids are the first to go from saints to brats when given an abundance of presents on Christmas morning. It never seems to fail, receiving all those gifts at one time is a recipe for disaster.  I also think we have placed such a huge expectation on us and our loved ones as to what Christmas should look like. So that we are all running around with fake smiles while inside our stress is through the roof as we try to get to everyone's house on time and worry if they will like the gifts we have given.

    Is this what God intended for the birthday of His son Jesus?  Lets take a look, know the Holy Family did travel for the first Christmas but it wasn't to Florida and they didn't stay on a five star resort.  NO the resort was full so they stayed in a stable for animals, his bed was a manger and his new christmas outfit was some stylish bands of cloth!  WHAT?? that can't  be right. Where are the ribbons, bows and wrapping paper; big Ham, sweet potatoes and pie? Where are the mountains of toys, tree with lights, fake snow and little villages of winter wonder land? Where is Santa???    I looked in the book of Luke 2:6-7 none of it is in there so little, so simple,  just a baby lying in a manger. Yet there is such Joy such excitement,  suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly hosts, praising God and saying, Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom He favors!!! (Luke 2:13-14).  I don't know about you but to me that sounds better than anything I could think of for Christmas morning and then later on He did receive gifts from the three kings (Matt 2:1-12)

    Now that we have seen what the first Christmas looked like, lets take a look at Santa. Is he really trying to steal Christmas?  Again know the person of Santa Claus is no more than Saint Nicholas Bishop, his name was changed to Santa Claus for the Dutch Sinterklaas. For a while he stayed as the Bishop for Turkey whose love for Christ was expressed through giving to the needy.  He also strongly defended our Lord at the council of Nicaea against Arius and against Arius' belief that Jesus was not fully God.  The story goes that Nicholas was so enraged at what Arius was saying against Jesus that he got up, walked over and slapped Arius across the face. After that the other Bishops had him thrown into jail and removed his Bishop garments from him. Later on that night Jesus and Mary appeared to him and asked "Why are you in jail?" Nicholas answered "Because of my love for You!" Upon this reply Jesus gave him the books of the Gospel and Mary gave him his Bishop garments back.  In the morning when the guard returned his chains were loosened, he was quietly reading the gospel and dressed in the garments they had stripped from him the night before.  With amazement they took him to Pope Constantine who restored him as Bishop and the council decided to go with Nicholas' belief and not Arius.  So you can see Saint Nicholas is both joyful, giving and a fierce defender of Christ.

   You see if we want to truly celebrate the birth of our Lord it should be simple, little and with our family.  If you want to add on the spirit of Santa Claus AKA St Nicholas just defend Jesus at all cost and give the gifts you get to the poor.

     Merry Christmas Taylor

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