This blog is supposed to be, as much as I can, my daily journey through life as a Christian. I hope it to be my thoughts and feelings on life but be as grounded in the Christian message as it can. My intention is not to create a daily readings or bible study guide but to look at my life in terms of a Christian trying to find and follow God's mission using his Life User's Manuel AKA the Bible.

Matthew 10 19-20

And don't you worry about what you'll say or how you'll say it. The right words will be there; the Spirit of your Father will supply the words. - Matthew 10 19-20

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Advent Challenge Day 12

This challenge is now complete, please feel free to browse all of the 
completed tasks via the Advent Challenge tab.

So, day twelve, is it just me or does a certain Christmas song come to mind? Hope everyone reading this is having a good month so far and that your Christmas preparations are going well. I my self am almost sorted with everything I need to get and do before Christmas with only a few more presents to get and then wrap or post to the people who will be receiving them. But lets face it, your not here to find out how my shopping is going or even if I have my tree up yet, which I don't, but to find out how yesterdays Advent Challenge went.

It is a shame that I did not happen to have this challenge on the 6th of December which is St Nicholas' feast day. But on reading about Him, he is a very interesting character. St Nicholas became the original Santa Claus due to his habit of secret gift giving which is something I suspect most people already know about, of course good old St Nick gives out presents.

Saint Nicholas is the patron saint of sailors, merchants, archers, thieves, children, and students. He is also the patron saint of Aberdeen, Amsterdam,Barranquilla, Bari, Beit Jala, Fribourg, Huguenots, Liverpool, Siggiewi, and Lorraine. As if this was not enough St Nick was also a patron of the Varangian Guard of the Byzantine emperors, who protected his relics in Bari.

Not bad really is it, this guy seems to have made quite an impression on a lot of people and places. He is one of the Saints who is recognised by both the Catholic and Orthodox Churches and is also recognised by some Anglican and Lutheran Churches too. But what about some facts about St Nick that you might not know.

Saint Nicholas who was orphaned at a young age was raised by his uncle, who was also named Nicholas, who happened to be the Bishop of Patara. His uncle founded the monastery of Holy Sion at which Saint Nicholas spent some time. His relics are situated in Bari, and at the site there is both a Catholic and an Orthodox Church. The relics of St Nicholas are said to exude a clear liquid known as manna which many people believe to have healing properties, this is collected every 6th December and can be bought at the site of his relics in Bari.

Interesting facts? Well I thought so anyway but I have been told in the past that I am interested in the dullest things, for example science. But what do we learn from him, what can we gather form these original foundations on to which the modern Santa Claus has been built?

Well for me he exhibits some of the best aspects of someone living a Holy life. He was a highly religious man in his life and obviously lived a life which was well respected by those who knew him, respected enough that he was recorded so that future generations would recognise him and show him to be a saint. This is all well and good but how does this affect us living today ion the modern age?

We can learn form Saint Nicholas that material goods are not important to living a good, wholesome and holy life. We can see that through right living we can influence people far outside where we are geographically located, by showing God in our lives in small ways but with true conviction we can have a measurable effect on the whole world. Who ever said that even the smallest thing you did does not have huge implications in the future?

So I think that task went quite well personally, let me know what you think of it in the comment section below. Moving on to which task I will be completing today, and the task which has been chosen is task number 15. Spread some Christmas cheer. I have some good ideas of what to do with this one but if you want to know you will have to check back and read the Advent Challenge post tomorrow, until then, Merry Christmas.

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