LET ME INTRODUCE YOU
Do you think Santa is capable of punching someone in the face? No? Well… read on!
Meet Santa. Well – he doesn’t really resemble the classic image of Santa. If you saw this guy sitting in a shopping centre you probably wouldn’t queue up with the kids to pop them on his knee.
Nevertheless… this is Santa.
A mini-paragraph history lesson – try to stay awake: His name is St Nicholas of Myra. He was born on the 15th March 270AD in the city of Patara in Asia Minor. His name, St Nicholas, has been lost in translation over the centuries: Saint Nicholas -> Sinterklaas (dutch) -> Santa Claus.
THE GIFT GIVER
Now, St Nicholas is, unfortunately, a misunderstood guy. His legend has been hijacked and shaped into something quite strange! Apparently he’s making lists, checking if we are naughty or nice, giving gifts to the good and withholding from the bad. I’m not sure his rather fetching red outfit complete with bling belt buckle and bobble hat would be his outfit of choice – Coca Cola are responsible for the spread of that image!
We’ve transformed St Nick into the commercially-driven CEO of a present purchase and delivery service. Rumour has it he is the majority shareholder in Amazon (you heard it here first!). That’s what we’ve turned him into – we give him our list, he delivers. He’s a glorified delivery boy – who might soon be replaced by the Amazon Prime drone!
It’s got a bit out of hand…
Reality is, St Nicholas got a bit of a rep for being a gift giver. It is said that he would put coins in the shoes of those who left them out for him. That’s about it really.
WHAT DOES HE REALLY CARE ABOUT?
So, what does St Nick really care about? It may surprise you to know that he was at the First Council of Nicaea, and was one of the Bishops who signed the Nicene Creed. Now, the topic that dominated the agenda at the First Council of Nicaea was the issue of who Jesus is and his incarnation. The Council was charged with the task of settling the Arian controversy, which maintained that the Son of God was a created being and has not existed in eternity with God the Father. The pioneer of Arianism was Arius, a priest from Alexandria, Egypt.
The discussions on this one topic lasted around one month, and the story goes like this…
As Arius stated his position at great length, St Nicholas became increasingly irritated. It was at that point that St Nicholas got up, crossed the room, and punched Arius square in the face! That’s right, Santa punched Arius in the face! And by doing so he risked everything. It was illegal to strike someone in the presence of Constantine (who had called the Council). Constantine left it to the Bishops to decide St Nicholas’ punishment. They stripped him of his position and chained him up in a jail cell. He was later reinstated apparently after Jesus had appeared to him in his jail cell. The Council’s conclusion was that Arius was incorrect and he was condemned as a heretic.
So, have you ever thought of Santa Claus in that way? As a guy who so passionately loves Jesus that he is prepared to risk everything he has to defend his name and his identity.
Santa isn’t that bothered about flying around on a sleigh (although that is pretty cool). No, what Santa really cares about is Jesus – that’s who the real Santa is pointing to this Christmas.