‘ISRAEL DID NOT want to be a holy nation. Israel wanted to be a nation like all the other nations, a nation like Egypt, like Syria. She wanted clout. She wanted security. She wanted a place in the sun. It was her own way she wanted, not God's way; and when the prophets got after her for it, she got rid of the prophets, and when God's demands seemed too exorbitant, God's promises too remote, she took up with all the other gods who still get our votes and our money and our 9 A.M. to 5 P.M. energies, because they are gods who could not care less whether we are holy or not, and promise absolutely everything we really want and absolutely nothing we really need.’     [Frederick Beuchner]   


‘Six days a week we wrestle with the world, wringing profit from the earth; on the Sabbath we especially care for the seed of eternity planted in the soul.’       [A.J. Heschel] 

DECEMBER 6 - Nicholas of Myra (fourth century)

Nicholas was bishop of Myra in 4th century Turkey.  While serving as bishop Nicolas learned of three girls who were going to be sold into slavery by their father.  He was moved to use the church’s wealth to ransom their lives.  Going to their house he tossed three bags of gold through the window.  He is the original ‘Old Nick’ who inspired the tradition of Santa Claus.

We recall this ancient gift, even as we remember that more than a million children are trafficked in the global sex trade today.    [Story in Common Prayer, 55] 


Our Father, we thank you for the Bible which tells us the Christmas story.  Thank you, too, for those who toiled and gave their lives so that we could have the Bible in our own language.  Help us to understand Your word and to treasure it as You speak to us from it, preparing our hearts for Christmas.

[Doubleday Prayer Collection, 355]