Today’s Candle is called the Candle of Joy.
Ask, Seek, Knock
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”
Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.
Ornament: a door
Here are two promises, two doors, and two different people knocking for the door to be opened to them.
In the first scripture verse, the Lord tells us to knock on heaven’s door. To pray and ask for what is needed from God. It is promised that God will open the door of believing prayer.
In the second it is God who knocks. He knocks on the door of our hearts, and if we open the door of our heart to Him will will have fellowship with God.
There is much that is hidden inside the doors of these scriptures…. will you open the doors of these truths for yourself?
What is behind door # 1? Behind door #2? Are you as eager to find out as game show contestants…. who may face disappointment? Who aren’t sure they will win?
Hopes in Christmas promises are sure gifts and everlasting prizes.
Here is a little fun history trivia:
Wassailing is an English tradition. Like American carolers, a group travels door to door singing traditional songs, the purpose being to bring good cheer to the house… and chase out nasty thoughts. A bowl or cup of a warm drink (of various recipes) is given to the participants, and perhaps a snack to accompany it.
“Here we come a wassailing
Among the leaves so green,
Here we come a wandering
So fair to be seen.
Love and joy come to you,
And to you your wassail, too,
And God bless you, and send you
A Happy New Year”
Carol: Wassail Song
Traditionally this was an activity of the Twelfth Night (January 5th), or sometimes on 17th January, known as Old Twelfth Night (Wassailing Notes). Twelfth Night, a part of the twelve days of Christmas consisted of blessing the fields and remembering the twelve apostles, but many of the traditional rituals were vestiges of the pagan religions of the region. That which remains in Christian celebration is meant as good wishes “was hail, (be whole)” a blessing of good health.
Hot cakes and a spiced drink were the usual fare. A modern interpretation could be pancakes and spiced cider.
The Book of Days P55.Jan5 12th day eve.
“In Herefordshire, at the approach of the evening, the farmers with their friends and servants meet together, and about six oâ€™ clock walk out to a field where wheat is growing. In the highest part of the ground, twelve small fires, and one large one, are lighted up. The attendants, headed by the master of the family, pledge the company in old cider, which circulates freely on these occasions. A circle is formed round the large fire, when a general shout and hallooing takes place, which you hear answered from all the adjacent villages and fields. Sometimes fifty or sixty of these fires may be seen all at once. This being finished, the company return home, where the good housewife and her maids are preparing a good supper. A large cake is always provided, with a hole, in the middle. After supper, the company all attend the bailiff (or head of the oxen) to the wain-house, where the following particulars are observe: The master at the head of his friends, fills the cup (generally of strong ale), and stands opposite the first or finest of the oxen. He then pledges him in a curious toast: the company follow his example, with all the other oxen, and addressing each by his name. This being finished, the large cake is produced, and, with much ceremony, put on the horn of the first ox, through the hole above mentioned. The ox is then tickled, to make him toss his head: if he throw the cake behind, then it is the mistressâ€™s prerequisite; if before (in what is termed the boosy), the bailiff himself claims the prize. The company then return to the house, the doors of which they find locked, nor will they be opened till some joyous songs are sung. On their gaining admittance, a scene of mirth, and jollity ensues, which lasts the greatest part of the night.”â€”Gentlemanâ€™s Magazine, February, 1791. The custom is called in Herefordshire Wassailing. The fires are designed to represent the Saviour and his apostles, and it was customary as to one of them, held as representing Juas Iscariot, to allow it go burn a while and then put it out and kick about the materials.
At Pauntley, in Gloucestershire, the custom has in view of the prevention of the smut in wheat “all the servants of every farmer assemble in one of the fields that has been sown with wheat. At the end of twelve lands, they make twelve fires in a row with straw: around one of which, made larger than the rest, they drink a cheerful glass of cider to their masterâ€™s health, and success to the future harvest; then returning home they feast on cakes made with carraways, soaked in cider which they claim as a reward for their past labour in sowing the grain”- Rudgeâ€™s Gloucester.
-Chambers, The Book of Days., From the Wassail Page