Advent Meditations: Thursday 6 December

Dec 6, 2018 by

Thur
Dec 6
am: 13:1-20
pm: 13:21-50
Isaiah 6:1-8 1 John 4:7–14  Luke 10:1-9

 FEAST DAY:  Saint Nicholas of Myra,  Bishop,  and Confessor, 345  – St. Nicholas was from Asia Minor and was ordained to the priesthood and eventually appointed abbot of a nearby monastery in Myra. At the death of the archbishop, Nicholas was chosen to fill the vacancy, and he served in this position until his death. About the time of the persecutions of Diocletian, he was imprisoned for preaching Christianity but was released during the reign of Emperor Constantine. Upon assuming his diocese, he became known for acts of charity to the poor and especially children  secretly attending to the needs they had as members of his flock. The story of Saint Nicholas in its distorted fashion came to us through the Dutch Protestants who carried a popularized version of the saint’s life to America (New Amsterdam, now New York) portraying Nicholas as nothing more than a Nordic magician and wonder-worker. Our present-day conception of Santa Claus has grown from this version. Those who follow the liturgical calendar of the church in the East and West should remember that Nicholas was a giant of the faith — not merely as a jolly man from the North Pole who brings happiness to small children.

MEDITATION- The wisdom of the church in teaching about the life and ministry of one of its saints is certainly evident in the lessons today which are appointed for the feast day in Anglican and RC churches.. This is certainly realized in the epistle from John appointed for today, when you consider the works of charity that Nicholas had undertaken in his ministry. Nicholas made God visible during his lifetime and beyond through loving acts of kindness and generosity. We are reminded in this text that Love as Christ is the revelation of character (vv. 7h-8) and the call to love is undergirded by the fact that its practice is proof positive that it exists in the wellspring of the soul. IT would serve us well to remember that the practice of love for “one another” evidences the reality of love for God is tested, strengthened, and formed by the fruits of our life.

PRAYER:  Lord God, make us so reflect your perfect generosity; that, with your servant and Bishop Nicholas, we may show ourselves according to be sign of generous love, and serve you through others with our whole heart. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Activity/Spiritual Discipline – St. Nicholas did his charitable works secretly.  Consider using this day (morning, noon and evening) to undertake three separate acts of charity to three separate individuals in total anonymity.

ANCIENT WORDS/PRESENT GRACE:  “I do not believe one can settle how much we ought to give. I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare. In other words, if our expenditure on comforts, luxuries, amusements, etc., is up to the standard common among those with the same income as our own, we are probably giving away too little. If our charities do not at all pinch or hamper us, I should say they are too small. There ought to be things we should like to do and cannot do because our charitable expenditures exclude them.” — C.S. Lewis, Theologian

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