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Advent through Christmas -- 2007

Tuesday, December 11, Second Week in Advent

The Wassail Bowl

The word “wassail” comes from Old Norse “vas heil” – a toast meaning “good health.”

The wassail bowl was a wooden bowl into which people dipped their cups for a beverage in preparation for a toast on ceremonial occasions.

At Christmas, the poor in England would “go wassailing,” which meant dancing and singing in the neighborhood streets, hoping that householders would give them a warm drink from their wassail bowl


33 posted on 12/16/2007 6:51:14 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
Advent through Christmas -- 2007

Tuesday, December 11, Second Week in Advent

Jesus said to his disciples, “If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray, will he not leave the 99 in the hills and go in search of the stray? And if he finds it…he rejoices more over it than over the 99 that did not stray. In just the same way, it is not the will of your heavenly Father that one of these little ones be lost. Matthew 18:12-14-26

Luke’s version of theis parable is better known because it is read on Sundays. We call it the “parable of the lost sheep.”

But Matthew uses the word “stray” instead of “lost” (“stray” appears three times in this passage.) Getting “lost” often means accidentally losing the way. To “stray” can imply deliberately roving from the course we know is right.

When we sin, we probably see ourselves more in the “stray” category – deliberately leaving the right path. We can identify with the words ascribed to St. Paul

“Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. Of these I am the foremost. But for that reason I was mercifully treated, so that in me, as the foremost, Christ Jesus might display all his patientce. (1Tim 1:15-18)

We have to be sure to take in the whole first sentence of the quote: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” The first thing the Lord says to a sinner isn’t “Why did you stray?” The first thing he says is simply, “I came into the world for you.”

Our celebration of Christmas isn’t simply that Christ came into the world. It’s that he came into the world…for sinners.

For me.

Spend some quiet time with the Lord.


34 posted on 12/16/2007 6:56:21 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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