Terminology Saint Nicholas Dutch form is Santa Claus
Jesus Comes to Town The apostle Paul brought Jesus to the area of Myra, Lycia (Demre, Turkey) during his 3 rd missionary journey. The port was so important Paul’s ship stopped in Myra on it’s way to Rome
Jesus Comes to Town Santa’s parents would be saved 200 years after Paul established the church in Lycia.
Early Life Ephiphaneas and Nona were saved Desired to have a child Prayed and tried for 30 years Finally gave birth to Nicholas in the 270’s AD
Early Life Life was hard in the 3 rd Century Destitute people starved. Christians provided hospice care, widow and orphan care.
Early Life A plague swept through Lycia in the late 3 rd Century Ephiphaneas and Nona both die. What will happen to Nicholas?
Early Fame By 450AD many clergy were assigned the name Nicholas. 4 early popes are named Nicholas. Roman Emperor Theodosius II (401-450) constructed a massive church in Myra by the name Church of St. Nicholas.
Early Life At this time the beloved bishop of Myra dies. A Synod is formed to see who will replace him. After days of deliberation there’s no consensus.
Early Life The most revered bishop in the synod had a dream. The next bishop would be the first person answering to Nicholas. The boy rose early and went to the church…
Early Life The old bishop declared young Nicholas the new bishop of Myra Nicholas freaked out and tried to run. He was stopped, obeyed and was led to the throne.
Early Life The people came to love the young bishop. Humility, honesty, energy, care and dedication to God and the people He cared about the poor, destitute and children.
Early Life His giving tended to be done in secret, many in the church began to emulate him. Galerius and Diocletian Decree issued on February 23 rd, 303AD
Early Life Destruction of all churches Burning of all Christian books Dissolution of all congregations Confiscation of all property Banned from public office Executed for violating decree
Early Life Nicholas, in his 30’s, stayed to shepherd his people. Arrested & tortured over 8 yrs
Boy No Longer A frail, filthy, unshaven man left prison with his integrity and firm faith in Jesus. Still a young man, Nicholas was aged by torture. Widely becoming famous as a man who walked with God & helping a destitute family.
Council of Nicea Constantine calls the Council of Nicea when Nicholas is in his 50’s May 20 th, 325AD 318 bishops arrive at Constantine’s palace
Council of Nicea An account survives where Constantine points out 3 bishops he believes deserve special honor, “There are three pillars of the world, Anthony in Egypt, Nicholas of Myra, and James in Assyria.”
Council of Nicea Is Jesus a Creature or the Creator?
Council of Nicea Athenian monk Damaskinos: The emperor was sitting on his throne, flanked by 159 bishops to his left and 159 to his right. Arius was presenting his views with great vigor and detail. As Saint Nicholas observed the scene, the bishops listened to Arius in complete silence and without interrupting this discourse. Outraged, and prompted by his saintly vigor, he left his seat and walked up to Arius, faced him squarely and slapped his face.
Embrace the Redeemed Santa Redeem the Cliché Stare at the right hand of Santa…remember his life. Let his tough life with Jesus encourage your walk. Let the ordinary red/white continually restore the extraordinary.