December 6, 2013, Nicholas of Myra (c. 342)
In each of the next two days, we commemorate the life and witness of two significant figures in the life of the Church from the 4th Century.
Today is the day set aside to remember the life and witness of Nicholas of Myra, or better known in some Christian traditions as St. Nicholas. St. Nicholas is especially remembered for the legend of him entering the home of a poor man anonymously and leaving gold coins to prevent his three daughters from being sold in to slavery. And yes, many of us might recognize the modern version of the legend!
We give thanks for all that Nicholas did in the life of the Church and ask to be inspired by his witness—especially in our giving to those in need of our help.
We pray: “Heavenly Father, shepherd of your people, we thank you for your servant Nicholas, who was faithful in the care and nurture of your flock. We pray that, following his example and the teaching of his holy life, we may by your grace attain our full maturity in Christ, through the same Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship, Page 60)
December 7, 2013, Ambrose of Milan (397)
Today, we recognize another 4th Century bishop, Ambrose of Milan. Like Nicholas, Ambrose is a significant figure in the life of the early Church. It was on this day in 374, that Ambrose “was baptized, ordained and consecrated a bishop” (Manual on the Liturgy, Page 42)—a powerful reminder of how complete and direct the call of God can be!
As we give thanks for his witness today, we offer thanks for all who respond to the call of God in doing God’s work in the world. May our hearts be open to hearing that call in our lives.
We pray: “Almighty God, you have raised up faithful bishops of your church, including your servant Ambrose. May the memory of his life be a source of joy for us and a bulwark of our faith, so that we may serve and confess your name before the world, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship, Page 60)