A Good Secret

by Anne Neuberger

I am coming to gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come and shall see my glory . . . Isaiah 66:18

Nicholas tossing gold
Online coloring activity
St Nicholas Center

Young Nicholas snuck down the dark street, clutching the bag of gold so it made no noise. When he arrived at a certain house, he dropped the bag through the window and sprinted back home.

His parents had taught him that Jesus wants us to love and help one another. As a child, Nicholas went along when they brought clothing to a family whose house had burned down or a meal to a sick person. Nicholas also learned Jesus wants us to stand up for what is right for others.

Tonight, Nicholas did both. At that time, poor girls who weren't married could become slaves! So, Nicholas gave his money to a family too poor to have weddings for their three daughters. This also gave the girls the means to choose a healthy life. When he heard the oldest daughter was married, Nicholas bundled up more gold and slipped out into the night. This giving in secret was fun!

Nicholas would do God's work all his long life. He would become known in many countries as a wise and holy man. He'd work to get people treated as children of God. And he'd talk with emperors if that is what it took!

But for now, he must deliver gold for the third sister. As he snuck back home, he had no idea that he would be remembered hundreds and hundreds of years later for this secret giving.

For discussion

(#1 for younger children, #2 for children 7-years-old and up):

  1. Learn about other stories about Saint Nicholas and ways we can observe Advent by going to www.stnicholascenter.org.
  2. As a family, talk about ways you can give in secret. Have fun!


Dear Jesus, thank you for Saint Nicholas, the saint of surprises!
Please help us learn the joy of secret giving too! Amen.

Closing Song

O Come All Ye Faithful


By Anne Neuberger, from Wait for the Light: Advent Family Devotions, copyright © 2009 Creative Communications for the Parish.

This Advent booklet for families focuses on light coming into darkness through the stories of good and holy people, some from the Bible like Noah, Issac, and Jonah, and others, such as Harriet Tubman, Corrie ten Bloom and St. Nicholas, of course. There is a story for each day, discussion questions and prayer.

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