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To: Salvation
Advent through Christmas -- 2007

Friday, December 14, Second Week in Advent

Christmas Cards

The custom of sending Christmas cards began in England in 1843 when Sir Henry Cole sent some cards to friends at Christmastime. These were not like today’s cards with Christmas or winter scenes. They depicted good deeds such as giving food and clothing to those in need.

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The first American cards were made in 1875 by Louis Prang, a German-born painter. These were more along the lines of the kind in use today. He helped popularize cards by holding contests each year for the best designs.

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Which is more important – the picture on the card, or the text inside? According to Hallmark, it isn’t even a close call. It’s the text by a mile.

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Speaking of miles, in the United States, over 2 billion Christmas cards are sent each year. To put in perspective…if average-sized cards were place side by side, they would stretch around the world six times.

We are approaching the halfway mark of Advent. Take an internal look at your Advent and Christmas plans. How are you progressing?


40 posted on 12/25/2007 10:18:21 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
Advent through Christmas -- 2007

Friday, December 14, Second Week in Advent

Jesus said. “To what shall I compare this generation? It is like children who sit in marketplaces and call to one another, ’We played the flute for you, but you did not dance, we sang a dirge but you did not mourn.’ For John came neither eating nor drinking and they said, ‘He is possessed by a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking and they said, ‘Look, he is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.” Matthew 11:16-19

The homespun parable of the little children playing in the marketplace describes two groups of youngsters who can’t agree on whether to “play wedding’ or “play funeral.”

For centuries, scholars have tried to clarify its exact meaning and application, but parables are sometimes hard to nail down that way.

Many would apply it in this way: The groups of children inviting the others to play wedding or funeral represent John and Jesus. The group of children who pout and refuse to join in represent the people who wouldn’t accept either John’s ascetic style or Jesus’ joyful style. These people refuse to be satisfied with either style because they’ve made up their mind not to accept John or Jesus.

Being part of a group requires a certain amount of flexibility, adaptability. The bond among parishioners is not ultimately ethnicity, political preference, economic status, or like-mindedness.

It is the Lord.

Spend some quiet time with the Lord.


41 posted on 12/25/2007 10:22:53 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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