Welcome to Advent… Day 6
These short meditations can be done alone, with a partner, or with the whole family.
My suggestion is evening time; light a candle, play the music suggested below,
Have a little treat, it’s an Advent Calendar, after all!
(Maybe hide some chocolate around the house each day, or hang it from the ceiling?)
And read the material aloud together…
There’s quite a lot here. You dont need to do it all; either follow the story and the blessings, or simply enjoy the poems.
Make it a special moment, ten minutes, of togetherness in this busy season.
The Feast of St Nicholas
Today we’ll put the Nativity story ‘on pause’ to tell the story of St Nicholas.
St Nicholas lived a very long time ago in a place called Myra, in the country we now call Turkey. As a young boy he was always kind and generous and shared things with people who had nothing.
As a young man he became a Bishop in the church, but he still continued to care for people. Everyone liked Nicholas because he was full of joy and kindness. They were glad that he liked to travel around the villages and towns in his care.
One day he heard a story about a man with three daughters, who was so sad that he couldn’t support them anymore. They couldn’t even get married, and they might have to leave to become slaves. The man and his daughters didn’t know what to do.
But St Nicholas did!
One night, under a starry sky, he went to their house and threw a bag of gold coins in through the window. The coins landed in a stocking one of the daughters had hung at the fireplace to dry.
The next morning, the girl was surprised and overjoyed to find gold coins in her stockings. “Father!” she called, running to wake him. “We have received a magical gift!”
Nicholas loved giving gifts in secret. He did this again the next night, and the night after, for the other two daughters. The family had been saved from a difficult situation!
There are many stories about St Nicholas. He became especially known for his care of children and people in difficult and hard situations.
After his death people began to celebrate St. Nicholas’ Day. He was celebrated with fondness all over the world. People hung their stockings by the fire the night before and awoke the next morning to find them filled with candy, fruit, nuts, or toys.
If you hang a stocking by the fireplace at Christmas, you might find an orange or tangerine at the bottom. A symbol of the first stockings filled with gold coins!
We remember St Nicholas still on the 6th December. In some countries people gather together, they bake Speculaas Biscuits and tell stories of St Nicholas, (or Sint-Nicolaas, Sinterklaas), together… just like you have!
Poem – I am the Song by Charles Causley
I am the song that sings the bird.
I am the leaf that grows the land.
I am the tide that moves the moon.
I am the stream that halts the sand…
You can find it here
Blessing and reflection for you and your family
Think about a time you have given or recieved a generous gift. How did it make you feel?
Some gifts come undeserved. Think for a moment about the people who are gifts to you. Maybe you can tell them so!
God of all gifts, we give thanks for the generosity and kindness of our friends and family.
May the HOPE of God’s gifts be always with you. Amen
West Berks Foodbank Reverse Advent Calendar
Day 6 – cereal