We’re happy to bring you our third Christmas fiction; we hope you enjoy this story of a more…forceful St. Nicholas.
• • •
‘Twas the day of the Council, when all thro’ the streets
Swarmed dozens of churchmen, with hearts full of heat;
Constantine came from his throne room to see,
just what the verdict on Arius would be;
The bishops were nestled all snug in the chamber,
Of visions and scriptures at length they’d confer,
And deacons and bishops and cardinals in caps,
Were speaking and gesturing and waggling their traps —
When out in the narthex arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the pew to see what was the matter.
Away to the portal I flew ‘cross the floors,
Tore open the latches, and threw wide the doors.
The sun on the crest of the waves in the sea,
Made my eyes narrow tight ‘gainst the sun’s apogee;
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a priest with balled fist, yelling loud ere we’d hear,
With a man sat before him, just as impolitic,
I knew in a moment it must be ol’ Nick.
More rapid than eagles his arguments came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and call’d them by name:
“His nature, His form, He’s forever begotten!
“Prophecies, covenants – or have you forgotten?
“He said He was God! He proved it as well!
“The Christ is divine, it’s clear as a bell!”
His words, how they twinkled! The Scriptures, how perfect;
We gathered ’round to hear the next word he’d project.
His wisdom drew up his mouth like a bow,
As he quoted from John and finished the show.
Then Arius spoke, and Nick gritted his teeth;
His anger flared up from the ground underneath,
Consuming his mind with a passion for truth
That shook his whole body in a manner uncouth.
Then Arius spoke, and the last staw was drawn;
From his side came Nick’s hand, curled with all of his brawn,
And pulling his fist up, by his face then it drew,
And with force of conviction, forward it flew.
The fool then stepped back, staggered deep by the blow,
And cradled the bruise Nick had sought to bestow.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he stormed out of sight—
“Christ is God, Christ is man. I have ended this fight.”
• • •
The historical Nicholas of Myra, the man upon whom Santa Claus is based, probably did go to Nicaea in hopes of countering Arius. He may or may not have actually punched Arius in the face, but I prefer to believe this is what really happened.
If you’d like to learn more about the Council of Nicaea and one of the other men of faith who opposed Arius, we recommend this excellent message by John Piper.
Merry Christmas from Redeeming Culture!