Such a lovely room

Such a lovely room

Sunday, December 6, 2020

Second Sunday of Advent


Today, December 6th, is St. Nicholas Day, which tends to be observed more in Europe than in the United States.  St. Nicholas is the patron saint of children and sailors, and in a way, that tells you all you need to know about him.  You’d expect that bawdy sailors and innocent children were completely opposite types of people.  But quite the contrary.  I mean, who is more in need of protection than sailors and children, right?  Both at the mercy of an environment they cannot control?


But usually, we think of Nicholas as being here for children.  And that’s why when he gets tied up with all sort of legends and traditions; Santa Claus and Saint Nick are pretty much the same thing to most people.  And since we don’t know much about St. Nicholas, it’s easy for him to get lost in the Christmas hubbub.


And I think that’s okay.  Because the traditions have Nicholas providing for the poor, and caring for children, and giving undeserved gifts.  Much like Santa.


And so, in this second week of Advent, I encourage you to think on how you might help those in need.  Who are the sailors and children in your life who are at the mercy of forces they cannot control?  And how might you offer them encouragement and support?


It could be as simple as buying a candy bar for the kid next door.  Or it might be as extravagant as making a contribution for a new wing at the Seafarer’s Institute.  Or it might just be spending some time praying that God would comfort those in distress during these crazy and uncertain times.


In short, try to do something this week that would make St. Nicholas smile.

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