In Against Heresies, Irenaeus wrote that God does not need us, but he longs to shower us with gifts. God wants to give us salvation. To serve God does not mean giving him any gift. He rewards those who serve him without deriving any benefit from their service, (AH 4, 25).
The Rev. Steven Peay, Professor of Homiletics and Church History and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, dressed as St. Nicholas engaged the children of Nashotah House with a question along with a spray of candy canes, “What are you thankful for?” A quick response from a little one in the crowd, “Mama!” Many words of immediate thanks ensued from the more than fifty children of students, faculty, and staff, in attendance honoring St. Nicholas Day, December 6, 2013.
And then the gifts, cookies, hot chocolate, merry-making. The showering of gifts from a generous benefactor to the House reminded us of the gift of faith and becoming as a child.
Huntingdon, Clement, and Nicholas are models of the compassionate life whether feeding the poor in the streets of London, teaching orthodoxy, or giving gifts to children in the season as we walk the Advent path. In giving, we remember where we come from and re-telling the lives of the saints keeps our memories fresh. Why story and why legend? To point us to the True story — that of the Incarnation. Engaging in the majesty of Christ, all for the sake of Christ. As we move towards the festival that is Christmas, we remember to give compassion as it has been modeled for us.
For more information, please see stnicholascenter.org