Let’s talk about the most popular celebrity of Christmas, St. Nicholas. The man whose life became the basis for Santa Claus was a venerated Christian leader, whose relics were distributed throughout Christendom after his death.

Nicholas of Myra was born in the city of Patara (modern day Turkey) in A.D. 270. His wealthy parents died in an epidemic while he was young. Obeying Jesus’ words, “Sell what you own and give the money to the poor,” (Matthew 19:21), Nicholas used his entire inheritance to help the needy. He was made Bishop of Myra while a young man and participated in the Nicene Creed council.

Celebrities today may be forgotten tomorrow, but Revelation 14:13 reminds us, “The saints rest from their labors, and their deeds follow them.” St. Nicholas’ deeds have obviously followed him. Will others say the same about us one day?

I just finished reading 1st and 2nd Chronicles, the history of Israel’s monarchies. What was noteworthy was how their entire lives would be summed up with one statement, “He did right in the sight of the Lord,” or “He did not do right in the site of the Lord.” Often, the good kings made bad decisions, but their heart was inclined to please the Lord. It wasn’t about being perfect, it was about a life that valued God’s opinions.

The Lord has given each one of us a Kingdom assignment: Love. We are to use what He has given to influence others to seek Him. Such a mindset will not occur unless we are immersing ourselves in God’s word every day. With the busy season swirling around us, be sure to carve out time to engage the presence of God in His word, and creating a fresh prayer list. From that base, distribute the joy of the Lord to all who cross your path. Don’t be shy to talk about God’s love. Most people consider themselves spiritual, so the environment is ripe for a faith-chat. Remember, the Spirit leads you!

Nicholas of Myra had no idea he would become a venerated saint, and we would be following his example of giving to others two millennia later. This generation of Christians is responsible for this generation of souls on earth. Whose souls are you responsible for this Christmas?

Rev. Dr. William Lewis