1 John 4: 11-12
My dear, dear friends, if God loved us like this, we certainly ought to love each other. No one has seen God, ever. But if we love one another, God dwells deeply within us, and his love becomes complete in us– perfect love!
As I get older, I’m finding how imperative it is that I choose to love people.
And each year that I get older, I find that my internal clock begins a new year at Christmas time, during Advent, as I practice more consciously, loving the people around me.
And so it helps me stay kind when I remember the people who came before me, the ones who chose to care for others in those long, hard, awkward hours of life.
Those people, ones like Saint Nicholas, lived in the daily action of 1 John 4, and they created the cycle of love– God loved us, we love others, and God continues to dwell as we grow in love– a perfect circle.
So, today is Saint Nicholas day, the day we put our shoes by the door or by the hearth and we wait for his generous gifts– gold coins and oranges to represent the money he gave to those who needed it most, candy canes to remember the way he shepherded the wandering.
He is someone I want my boys to know about, another hero on their long list of men and women who lived brave and kind lives.
So, celebrate the beautiful possibility of extra generosity today, in the spirit of Saint Nicholas.
Give an orange or two, look someone in the eyes, remind the lonely that they are not alone.
Then, maybe we will see a little more of God in flesh, the way it was intended from the beginning.