Mega Blog

Santa Claus – Do You Believe?

Posted by Mega Church
on December 11th, 2013

After doing some extensive research as to the origin of Santa Claus (St. Nicolas), I came to realize that there are several legends each with their own set of convincing “facts”.  The most believable narrative places Saint Nicholas in a wealthy family in Patara, Lycia (southern Turkey) late in the 3rd century. He received a massive inheritance after the death of his parents, and was notorious for not only his philanthropic acts, but also for his miracle performing abilities (often referred to as Nicolas the Wonder Worker).  At some point, he was elevated to the position of Bishop in the city of Myra, Lycia only to be imprisoned and later exiled by Emperor Diocletian because of his campaign against the Arian heretical movement.

When Constantine became emperor early in the 4th century, St. Nicolas was released from exile and his whereabouts from that point on were uncertain. Countless stories emerged of anonymous acts of benevolence which were all attributed to this invisible saint. Emperor Justin dedicated a church in Constantinople in tribute of St. Nicolas. Over time, the church in the West as well as the East honored and revered him to the point that over 400 churches were christened with his name. In Holland, he became known as Sinterklass; and Martin Luther replaced this bearer of gifts with the Christ Child, or, in German, Christkindl – later to be pronounced Kriss Kringle, which is now considered another name for Santa Claus.

Because St. Nicolas (Santa Claus) has his roots in the early church, it is only fitting that we embrace him and bring him back into the church today. No matter what the world outside the church has created or fashioned regarding Santa Claus, his lineage is Christian and it is obvious that the Holy Spirit imparted to him the gift of miracles and the gift of giving. He is symbolic of Christ, in that he has a free gift to give to each and every person in the entire world, and it is distributed in a miraculous way. Jesus Christ died on a cross, was buried, and miraculously rose from the dead so that everyone worldwide has the opportunity to receive the FREE GIFT of eternal life through Him.

I had the privilege and honor to play Santa Claus at Mega Church the past two years for our annual Christmas festivities, including a theatrical performance and two community parties sponsored by Furaha Forever Productions. The events were spectacular. I never knew the opportunity existed to pass on the love of Christ while playing Santa Claus. First of all, for some of the kids (and parents) to see Santa in the church was probably a new experience. But to have Santa remind the children about the real reason for the season, the birth of Jesus Christ, the Savior, was more than likely a shocker. I am certain that the smiles, the comments, the pictures, and the love created a lasting impression for each individual encounter with Santa.

Asked if I would do it again next year – well, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I was blessed as much if not more than the children. I believe in Santa Claus. Do you? The Spirit is alive.

from the Deacon’s Desk

 

Posted by Mega Church Wednesday, December 11th, 2013.
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