Monthly Archives: January 2019

Here Comes Santa Claus

Santa Claus comes to town every Christmas, usually about a month before Christmas, with his jolly Ho, Ho, Ho, he frightens the daylights out of the very little ones and pleases the older child by listening and promising to bring the favorite gift.

But where did he come from?  How did he come to be not only a part of, but sometimes the main show at Christmas. If you said from The Night Before Christmas Story, you would be partially right.  In the famous poem the author mentions Saint Nicholas but, as the story went around the world and advertising began drawing images of the more or less mythical person described, the name Santa for Saint and Claus for Nicholas evolved.

Saint Nicholas was a real person who live centuries ago in what is now the country of Turkey.  His parents were wealthy and they took him for a trip around the world while he was quite young. The trip impressed him as he saw that many people suffered in poverty with few to help.  Shortly after the trip he was orphaned and was left with quite a bit of money.  It was then he began helping the poor.  He gave gifts in secret, he was wise beyond his years and became a priest at age 18.  In his 20’s  he became an archbishop, doing many wondrous works.  He was a Christ follower and a man of much prayer and fasting. He gave so much that soon his benevolence could no longer be kept a secret.  The most famous story is that of him secretly putting dowry money into the hanging stockings of three daughters of a once wealthy man who lost all he had. This father was beside himself not knowing what to do and decided he had to sell his daughters into slavery, then the money was provided and the girls were able to marry.  He was so grateful, he realized that he had committed a grave sin and asked forgiveness of God and became a believer.  Santa is a giver of gifts, he encourages children to, say their prayers and be good.  He spreads good will and cheer to all. In a way he emulates St Nicholas and I love to tell children and others that Santa is real, in the person of St Nicholas.

Before the popularity of this poem there was never a mention of Santa, gifts or St Nick, and if it wasn’t for this ancient man of God perhaps there never would have been a Santa.

Santa Claus comes to us on the eve of Christmas when the wondrous truth of Christmas unfolds. His eight tiny reindeer were also named in the original poem that was titled “A visit from St Nick. The poem was written in the early 1800’s.


.Do you recognize the “most famous reindeer of all?”

This shy little deer came along about a century later when cowboy, Gene Autry recorded the song that became a hit and remains popular today.  Rudolf, it seems, was born with this terrible shiny nose that kept him out of the loop with the other reindeer, until Santa rescued him by turning his shame into something beautiful to help guide the sleigh on a foggy night.  He became the leader and has continued to be hailed as a loved one because he made himself useful to Santa and the others.

I like this story because it reminds of us of what God can do for us. There is a very short and not often told story in the Bible that is much like this story of Rudolph. It’s actually almost hidden in I Chronicles chapter 4, verses 9 and 10. These two verses are all the Bible says about Jabez, the honorable brother, who, because his mother suffered loss or hurt before his birth, she named him Jabez which literally means “you will cause Pain.”  Because he was more honorable than his brothers we can assume that his brothers did not treat him so well, since he was born with this “curse” over him.  He obviously did not want to cause pain to others, and called out to the Lord asking God to bless him and help him not cause pain. He also prayed to be delivered from the evil one and asked if God would help him, help others by enlarging his territory. And do you know what happened?  “God granted his request.”  This story reminded me so much of the Rudolph story that I was able to write a song to the tune of Rudolph that tells the Jabez story.

Now you can go to this YouTube link and sing along as I got some of my young friends to help me sing it.  Go ahead sing it, It’s kind of fun, and remember we all suffer from things that happen to us over which we have no control.  As this season of Christmas comes to a close take a tip from Jabez and ask God to take away your burden and turn it into something good.


Preview YouTube video Jabez

Today, January 6th, is the day we celebrate the wise men reaching their destination, the season of Christmas is officially over, the New Year has begun and tomorrow, my tree comes down. May you know God’s blessings in 2019.
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Epiphany – the climax of the celebrations of Christmas

At one time Epiphany was celebrated as the beginning of the New Year, but today it denotes the end of the Christmas holiday season. On our calendar it falls on January 6th, the last day of the 12 days of Christmas.The word epiphany is defined as “an intuitive grasp of reality, usually through something simple, and striking, as an illuminating discovery.”  So it means to reveal or to show.

When the wise men completed their journey and located Jesus, an epiphany occurred. It is believed that by not going back to the king, after seeing Jesus, it was revealed to them that He was indeed the Christ, the Messiah, the promised one, the King and Savior of humanity.  In short, they recognized who Jesus was and is, and it changed their way of thinking and their path for life.  The story is found in the second chapter of Matthew and it tells us that after they saw the Christ Child they departed and went home a different way.  Because of this, at one time, it was the hope of a priest of the early church that Epiphany should be the celebrated Christian holiday rather than Christmas. We teach that everyone who is to become a Christian have this epiphany moment when they realize who Jesus is and accept Him as the One promised by God to save us from our sins. The thinking of this priest was that this epiphany moment in a persons life was more important than to celebrate the birth of the baby Savior, and in fact Epiphany Sunday is recognized and/or celebrated in many churches today.  This year it happens to fall of a Sunday.

Contrary to popular Nativity scenes the wise men did not appear until a year or two after the fact of Christ’s birth, but they are often placed in the same context as the shepherds worshiping Jesus.

My daughter came up with a solution to this problem.  She removes the wise men from the manger scene and puts them in a different part of the room.  As January 6th draws near, she moves the wise men closer to the manger scene.

So her nativity might look like this, until January 6th which is the day the arrival of the wise men is celebrated.

These men, whose journey began somewhere in Persia arrived at a house where Mary and Joseph were staying until they were told by an angel to take the baby and flee to Egypt to escape the wrath of King Herod.

The wise men are an important part of the Christmas story, they worshiped Him and brought Him gifts. We exchange and give gifts today in honor of these first gifts given to our Savior.

All of the things we have looked at in these blogs reveal the true meaning of Christmas. We celebrate the fact that Jesus was born, came to earth through the womb of a virgin woman, leaving behind the glories of heaven to bring us out from under Satan’s rule and into a peace that passes all understanding.

And so the Christmas season ends and a New Year begins. I wish for all my readers a very happy and healthy new year and may your life honor the One whose birth we celebrate in the Season of Christmas, and may you recognize who Jesus is.

There is one aspect of Christmas that I have neglected to mention in these blogs.  But that is for another day, hopefully before the season of Christmas ends.

Where did he come from??  Tune in next time.






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