Voice of the Martyrs

     Since everyone is covering the holidays in their blogs and vlogs and the internet machine is bogged down with it, I thought I’d add to the virtual holiday cluster by writing my unasked for opinion about the holidays and festivities. Now my opinion is based on the Christian beliefs although I am by no means a model Christian in my behavior, I do try to do things the way my conscience serves they should be done. That doesn’t mean I’m perfect or that I don’t say things I shouldn’t sometimes. Far from it. I’m actually quite the black sheep.
     Now I’m sure all the Christmas lovers have had quite enough of the facts about Winter Solstace and how Christmas is a pagan holiday and Jesus wasn’t really born in the winter time or anywhere near when we celebrate his birth. I have actually had quite enough of this as well considering that I’m not a traditional Christmas fan at all and have grown to despise human beings around this time of year. The fact is, both sides of the political Christmas party are wrong. Yep, I said it, it’s not about Jesus’s birth, nor is it about the pagan holiday. The way we have come to celebrate Christmas is for an entirely different reason and entirely unrelated origin. Let me explain.
     A long time ago (by the way if you have netflix or any type of interweb machine at all you can find the veggitales version of this story to watch with your children and it’s quite cute) there was a boy named Nicholas who had very wealthy parents. His parents were devout Christians and attributed every blessing they had to the love of God and His gift of Christ. Because they had so much and believed so strongly in giving to the poor as God gave to our spiritually poor souls, they freely gave to those who had little or none and without regret. They were happy and joyful in their giving and did so with fervor and vigilance.
     At a young age poor Nicholas lost his parents to disease and those that depended on his family were concerned for what they would then do as well as saddened by the loss of beloved community members.Nicholas went away for some time to discover the world and do some soul searching and upon his return he discovered that the town he left was no more due to new management.
     He was extremely saddened to see that an old fisherman who despised Nicholas’ parents had become the new ruler of the town and that he had encroached upon them a law abolishing free giving as it apparently contradicted the idea of working for what one had. Anyone caught giving anything away for free would be fined a grievous amount of gold which hardly any could pay and given 3 days to pay it. Once the family could not pay the fine by the 3rd day those which were given something or caught giving something were to be placed in prison with no chance of release.
     Nicholas was no longer a little boy by this time and spoke scripture to his close circle wich bade that the left hand should give without the right hand even knowing what the left hand was doing. This meant secretly, without credit or attribution, continuing to give to the poor So Nicholas with his close group of helpers continued to secretly and in disguise make rounds to give to those in need. But it wasn’t long before the “mayor” found out and sent guards to watch the houses of the citizens in order to catch the secret giver.
     The problem with the plan of the new ruler was that he didn’t consider there were alternate ways to enteer a home besides the front door. Saint Nick, as Nicholas came to be called, began sneaking into homes by way of the chimneys and leaving gold coins to pay fines for giving in socks hung up by the fireplace to dry. He left gifts in the homes of those without enough to give anyone so that they would not go without food, clothing, and even toys for youngsters. All this he did while in disguise so as not to be recognized by guards if he was to be spotted. (Are you seeing the pattern for our modern Christmas practices here?)
     Theere are many details I’m sure I haven’t covered and over time the story may have changed somewhat but the point is the same and the origin is meaningful. It was not the celebration of the time of Jesus’ birth but in fact the gift that he was. The appreciation for it is shown by giving to those without and the tradition is to honor the efforts of Saint Nicholas who dared not discontinue his generosity for the sake of evil. It’s not a sin to celebrate Christmas, and it’s not religious to celebrate Christmas. It’s about the love and the giving. And that’s ok. Just spread the right message to the children as you pass along the tradition.
     Thanks for reading if you’ve made it all the way down here because I realize this is a long blog and everyone has their own ironclad opinions about the holidays. I also want to shout out that there are Christians persecuted for spreading the word of Christ in other countries, being imprisoned and tortured and still singing the song of Christ. I invite you to make it to the website persecuted.com or look up VoiceOfTheMartyrs on the internet and find out for yourself what they’re all about. I personally donate to the cause every month because it puts clothes and food on the backs and tables of those who are out spreading the word and for families who are being touched by the word from these underground preachers. If you feel it in your heart to give please do so, every little bit helps.
     Anyway I hope you all have a holly jolly Christmas and that you touch a life and show love in the same way Christ showed it to you. There is nothing more rewarding than true sacrifice for the sake of others who are in need. Much love to all my readers, thank you so much for hearing what I have to say.



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