Dec 19, 2022Liked by Scott Campbell

Wow, Captain! What a Christmas tour-de-force! Both informative and inspirational. Perhaps the best thing I have read showing that even modern Anglo-American hyper-commercialized Xmas customs still contain seeds of ancient Christian observance of the Nativity of Jesus. A former Texan, I have now immigrated for my retirement to the ancient Black Sea port city of Batumi, Georgia, a merchant-marine haven for over 6,000 years.

The Gospel of Christ was brought to Batumi in the First Century by three of His Twelve Apostles: Andrew, Simon the Zealot, and Matthias (who was martyred here). The Ottoman Empire bit off this southwestern corner of Georgia and imposed Islam by the sword, slaughtering or exiling all the Christians here for about three hundred years, and destroying all our ancient church buildings. Imperial Russia defeated Turkey and re-established Christianity here in the 18th and 19th centuries.

In the 20th century, the Bolshevik atheists from Russia destroyed all our churches again, save one, the Orthodox Church of St. Nicholas (near the ship harbor). It was built by Greek seamen in the 19th century, as its cornerstone inscription in Greek bears witness. Even the godless Soviets did not dare to destroy it, so beloved is St. Nicholas by our seafarers and their families and friends. It is jam-packed with worshippers every Sunday now, plus two services every week day. I will make a point to worship with them on Dec. 19, their patronal feast day.

Now Batumi has many Orthodox churches, and every one has a large icon of St. Nicholas. His prayers to God for us are still working wonders, on land and sea. A small icon of him has accompanied me on many sea voyages, all safe. An exemplary Christian, in so many ways. Glory to Jesus Christ, his master!

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Dec 20, 2022Liked by Scott Campbell

Another great piece, thank you!

Happy Christmas to you and your lovely family.

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Dec 21, 2022Liked by Scott Campbell

Thank you. A poignant piece to be sure. I look forward to your ‘musings’ there’s always something to learn from them.

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