Everyone is familiar with the hearty and joyful laugh (Ho-Ho-Ho) of Santa Claus. We all hear it in our inner selves and it wakes a smile. The ancient story which tells about Santa’s laugh heard the most joyful is this one: St. Nikolas lived during the most severe persecution of Christians. He was in prison for 8 years, at age 61 years old he was released – 1/3 his normal size from the torture he endured. His congregation sent their Archbishop away to rest in his favorite place – the site of the Nativity. He rested and prayed for the Empire. On Christmas Eve he was reunited with his good friend and old Roman soldier, Pericles. He gave Nikolas news so very appropriate for the time and place where they visited. He had been present when in Rome a light in the form of a cross appeared at noon day – Pericles saw it himself – Emperor Constantine professed publically his Christian Faith. Nikolas looked over the hills of Bethlehem and remembered the prophesy of Isaiah, “Kings shall come to your light, and the Gentiles to your brightness. The wealth of nations and people shall change their course and turn to you.” – “Just a little baby,” – and Nikolas laughed with the hearty joy laugh of St. Nick – “We are in Bethlehem and once again good tidings.”
It is good tidings when we stop to visit with, and fellowship with, a person troubled or worried or lonely – and the light of Bethlehem still shines through our lives to others in our fellowshipping.
Merry Christmas and share the news with each other,