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Searchers - History

An inspirational meditation on one man of God - St Nikolaos.

On the cusp of Advent, we were invited to reflect on what we love best about Christmas. We were happy to share our joys and traditions!

Lindy led the session by expertly conveying to us the historical person behind Santa Claus, from her reading of a book by Katherine Beaton entitledThe Real Santa Claus’.

Nikolaos was born three centuries after the birth of Christ and spent his life fighting for the defenceless. His knowledge and love of the faith was vast and he also showed a deep love for people. He became the Bishop of Myra, paying special attention to the community’s most vulnerable. When famines struck, Nikolaos organised the storing of reserves and an equitable distribution of supplies. He intervened on behalf of the wrongfully accused and worked to save unfortunate children from dire situations.

In Western Europe he has become almost exclusively the patron saint of childhood.

We related the life of this saint to our lives. One way we can support the hungry is through Foodbank. We questioned Helen and Dorothy about the work they have been doing locally with food distribution. We encouraged each other to get involved in giving food to others, for Christmas and all year round. We were interested to learn that Foodbank also secured furniture to give to those without any. Things are likely to get worse for many with furlough ending, Christmas coming (with all the expense that it entails for families) and job cuts looming. We would like to help those who will experience hardships in the new year.

One of our group gives money to Crisis every Christmas. Crisis usually announce their programme on Advent Sunday (29 November) so we can look out for that.

Saint Nikolaos cared for young people. Many older young people at this time might be experiencing a set back in their education or employment due to the pandemic. What can the church do to reach out? Claire reminded us that the church is a ready-made family - it’s all about relationships - we need to welcome young people into our midst, spend time and listen to them and share our experience of life and faith with them.

Our closing prayers reflected on the areas of need that were raised through a meditation of St Nikolaos.

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