Santa is real!!!! Kinda. Did you know that?To be clear St. Nicholas is real, and today happens to be St. Nicholas Day. I am a lover of history so naturally I dug. This was such a rabbit hole that was incredibly entangled in the religious and political. Quick highlights, he was a man who was born to wealthy Christian parents who died when he was young. He then was raised by his Catholic uncle who was the Bishop of Myra. Nicholas was at the historic Council of Nicea in year 325 AD. Constantine called this meeting because he saw the division of Christians over whether Jesus was God or divinely created by God, as something that could divide his empire. The Catholic church presented their position that God exists in plurality introducing the, homoousion/of one substance, argument. The followers of that belief system were the Homoousians. Arius led the charge of his understanding that God is one. Jesus was begotten and so created, sighting several supporting scriptures. His followers were known as Arians. It is reported that as an Arian was presenting his thoughts St. Nicholas struck him on the face. Religious intolerance much? This was not a society that embraced individuality and respect for different beliefs. The end result? Homoousians won, kind of. Many still hold God alone is God to be true. They did at that time as well, which was pretty bold. Next, Saint Nicholas was stripped of his bishopness?? You get it. They took his Bible, vestments and sent him on his way because.... he lost his cool. That was unbecoming of a Bishop. He still continued in his love for others and pursuing God as was right to him and others. The plurality of God was later changed to include the Holy spirit and this is now accepted by most so we can certainly say he was on the winning side of that argument as it was not only accepted, but expanded upon. Huge take wow, wow, wow Constantine and the Catholic church shaped the modern church in huge ways as Constantine also moved the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday in 321 AD and the Roman Papacy actually made it a requirement not to be idle on Saturday, but instead if possible to work or else "be shut out from Christ" at the Councils of Laodicea in 364 AD. It had to be easier to sell this stuff in a time when regular people could not read the Bible. A gift we possess, but can sometimes forget that people literally died so we could have that right. They wanted to cultivate followers, not challengers. People who would give money to get Uncle John into Heaven and not question the authenticity of that action which was... very, very profitable. I digress. The corruption of the word of God for profit is another rabbit hole, so I will leave that there. As far as Nicholas, he continued cultivating an earned reputation of kindness to children and people in general. An example is three sisters that were set to be sold into slavery, human trafficking, because they had no dowry. The legend states that Nicholas threw three bags of gold into their window at night while they slept to save the girls from that sad fate. That is awesome. There is also a weird grisley tale of him reassembling three murdered children found in a pickling jar and making them live again.... That is stated to have made him the patron Saint and protector of children. Departing from Sci-fi oddness,he factually used his inheritance to serve and encourage the poor. That is the part I really appreciate about him. That is worth emulating. Regardless of where you stand on issues, he was clearly a man that was passionate about God as he could have lived the life if Riley, but instead chose a life of service to God which at times saw him sitting in prison for his devotion. He used his life and resources to serve God as he thought best, so again, Happy Saint Nicholas Day. Maybe in honor of his life of service you can find a way to serve the less fortunate or hurting today. There is a lot of that going on right now. God willing it will become a habit.