Thursday 6 December: the Feast of St Nicholas

Reveal among us the light of your presence, that we may behold your power and glory.

Readings (Click the links to see the readings)

Isaiah 26.1-6 | Ps 118.19-25 | Matthew 7.21-27 December Humbug
by Jim McPherson

December’s wild collective madness strikes!
We all submit like slaves to Santa's lash
and with our hearts and minds and credit cards
crown Santa as de facto Season King.

Remote from human suffering at the Pole,
he speaks to those who dream of better things
beyond injustice misery and toil
to offer tinsel hope and brittle joy:
"Just come to me, and I will bring relief
my cargo cult will save you from your grief."

I cannot soil the Incarnation's gift
with Santa's baubles or his sugared grift.

Give me the God whose feet have touched the ground
and walked with us as human as ourselves
to celebrate our joys and share our pain;
who’s borne injustice hunger and fatigue
and who, foreswearing all escape, endured
our human death; and Death's defeat secured.

December's now the torment of my year;
while Santa's bogus claims assault my ears
the One we fete, who lived our living's ills,
is trampled in the rush for happy pills.

From To Tease Our Knowing, by Jim McPherson.

St Nicholas

St. Nicholas "Lipensky" Icon from Lipnya Church of St. Nicholas in Novgorod, 13th Century.


Almighty God, whom truly to know is everlasting life:
grant us to perfectly know your Son Jesus Christ
as the way, the truth and the life, and that,
following in the footsteps of friends like Nicholas
who loved the poor, the weak and the young,
and who gave what he had to enrich those who had but little,
we may faithfully walk in the way that leads to eternal life;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

In case you lack motivation to shoot Santa Claus …

Design & direction: Nupur Bhargava; Music direction: IshQ Bector;
Singers: Shree Dayal, Prajakta Shukre & Sonny Ravan. MTV, Viacom18,India

… and to aid your recovery from the above:

Joseph Haydn, "Credo", from St Nicholas Mass, mass no.6 in G, Hob. XXII.
Nancy Argenta, Catherine Robbin, Michael Schade, Alastair Miles with The English Concert, dir. Trevor Pinnock, 1993.

May the Lord, when he comes, find us watching and waiting. Amen.

St Philip's Anglican Church, corner Moorhouse and Macpherson Streets, O'Connor, ACT 2602