The Troparion for today’s feast of the great St Nicholas, wonderworker, teacher, model of sanctity and bishop reads:
Nicholas, holy hierarch, your flock has recognized you by the brilliance of your works. You are a model of kindness and rule of faith, a teacher of self-control. Your lowliness has raised you to the heights of fame, and your poverty has filled your hands with riches. Beg Christ, our God, to save our souls.
Nicholas has captured the imagination of many through the years because of charity which morphed into gift-giving. He’s not remembered in popular culture as a teacher of the Christian Gospel, the bishop who faithfully served the Divine Mysteries, for saving the innocent from death, and for calming storms nor challenging the false teachers. And yet, he’s more than all these things. He allowed the Lord to speak eloquently through his life and thus comes to us in 2020 as a friend and disciple of the Lord Jesus.
Would that we could live and act as Nicholas did in the face of false teaching by a life of virtue and charity, by worthily receiving the Divine Mysteries. Nicholas is asked to beg Christ to save us. May we, in fact, have our sins forgiven and be brought one day into perfect communion with the most holy Trinity.