Wednesday, December 6, 2017Nicholas
Bishop of Myra
From the Rector’s Sermon for Christmas Eve 2008:
A few days ago a parishioner sent me the famous editorial from the September 21, 1897 New York Sun, written in response to an eight-year-old girl’s letter, “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus,” which you can find online. “How dreary would the world be,” it says, “if there were no Santa. It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence.” Indeed.
But if Virginia grew to adulthood and were interested, she could have discovered that behind Santa Claus is Saint Nicholas of Myra, a fourth century bishop in Asia Minor beloved for his care for the poor, for waifs and orphans, and for sailors. Saint Nicholas was one of the bishops who approved the Nicene Creed which we are about to say. So behind him is the Child of Bethlehem, very God of very God who for us came down from heaven. Love really did come down at Christmas.
Almighty God, who in thy love didst give to thy servant Nicholas of Myra a perpetual name for deeds of kindness both on land and sea: Grant, we pray thee, that thy Church may never cease to work for the happiness 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 liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.