Or Are Jesus and Santa Closer Than Most People Like to Think?
If Santa and Jesus met (and most surely they already have!), Santa would be very much on Jesus’ side! The real Santa, is a great Hebrews 11 style witness to help us celebrate the coming of the Saviour of the world at Christmas time. Santa Claus/Sinterklaas/Saint Nicholas was a bishop in south eastern Turkey in the fourth century. Gift-giving, stockings, generosity, chimneys, being nice to children, bags of chocolate coins, all have their origins in the life and legends of old St. Nick.
The stories surrounding St. Nicholas – of selfless generosity and care for the poor (and the odd miracle!) – give us a glimpse of a man who was a great example of love for Jesus producing love for neighbour. So Claus and Christ are no enemies. But there was another occasion on which Santa Nicholas gave evidence of his great love for Jesus – and this one did involve some boxing…
Bishop Nicholas was one of the 318 in attendance at the famous Council of Nicaea in 325AD, from which we get our Nicene Creed. There was great controversy because Arius, a priest from Alexandria, was arguing that, though Jesus was fully human, he was not fully divine. On hearing Arius’ denigrating of Christ, ‘jolly old St. Nick’ got up and gave him a good slap round the chops! The rest of the council agreed with Nicholas, and Arius was condemned a heretic, but Father Christmas found himself behind bars for the night!
So when you’re writing your letters to Santa this year, remember that a very very long time ago, he wrote one to you:
We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begotten of the Father the only-begotten; that is, of the essence of the Father, God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father;
By whom all things were made both in heaven and on earth;
Who for us men, and for our salvation, came down and was incarnate and was made man;
He suffered, and the third day he rose again, ascended into heaven;
From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
And in the Holy Ghost.
But those who say: 'There was a time when he was not;' and 'He was not before he was made;' and 'He was made out of nothing,' or 'He is of another substance' or 'essence,' or 'The Son of God is created,' or 'changeable,' or 'alterable'—they are condemned by the holy catholic and apostolic Church.
(This article reprinted by the generous permission of my friends at www.theologynetwork.org. All suspicious spellings are entirely due to the Merrie Theologiane's country of origin - a place outside of America where "The Language" is not written properly.)