Advent Snowglobes (Day 16)
This is one of my oldest snowglobes, although it is not dated. Over the years about half of the water has leaked somehow, which is probably a relief to St Nicholas. You may have seen his many memes floating around Facebook. Nicholas lived in the fourth century. He was bishop of Myra in modern day Turkey. He was a staunch defender of Christian Orthodoxy and even was one of the bishops to sign the Nicene Creed. Nicholas died December 6, 343. December 6 was set aside by the Church as a feast day for St Nicholas.
One of my favorite texts is assigned for today, and I immediately thought of St Nicholas and this snowglobe when I read it:
Remember your leaders, those who spoke the word of God to you; consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings; for it is well for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by regulations about food, which have not benefited those who observe them. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls and will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with sighing—for that would be harmful to you (Hebrews 13:7-9, 16-17).
Many years ago in a different congregation a member I had a strained relationship with said to me, "I heard this the other day: 'If you don't like your pastor and you want a new one, you should pray for the one you have.'" He laughed, but his eyes didn't. I replied, "Hey, we need all the help we can get." Leadership in the church is tough. So as we consider a great leader of the patristic church, I encourage you today to remember your pastor(s). They want to be the kind of people whose faith is imitated. They want go about their work with joy and not sighing, especially over the next 10 days. How can you bless the lives of your faith leaders today?