We had our Monday night small group Bible study tonight. When I walked in, the sweet lady who invited us to her house had her Christmas tree up. I told her my "first" would be teaching a Bible study in someone's home before Thanksgiving who already had their Christmas tree up. She was a good sport about me kidding her about that. She then showed me that she had two Christmas trees up.
After our Bible study, we have snacks. The sweet lady that hosted (hostessed?) us tonight asked me if I wanted some wassail. Well, I did not know what a wassail was so I did not know if I wanted any. She explained to me that it was a traditional Russian drink- like a hot cider/tea kind of drink. I drank wassail at a Bible study for my "first" today.
It was pretty good. She described it pretty well. It's kind of like a hot tea/cider kind of drink. It went really well with the red velvet cake she made. Just about anything goes well with red velvet cake. If it does not, just eat the cake and pretend the other is not there.
I googled wassail when I got home so I would not how to spell it. After I found that, I looked up the ingredients to put what was in it on my blog. The sweet lady told me what was in it but I forgot when I got home. In reading several sites, it seems that you can make wassail in several different ways.
As I was reading, I learned that drinking wassail was typically associated with wassailing. Wikipedia defines wassailing in this way: "The tradition of wassailing (alt sp wasselling) falls into two distinct categories: The House-Visiting wassail and the Orchard-Visiting wassail. The House-Visiting wassail, caroling by another name, is the practice of people going door-to-door singing Christmas carols. The Orchard-Visiting wassail refers to the ancient custom of visiting orchards in cider-producing regions of England, reciting incantations and singing to the trees to promote a good harvest for the coming year."
Hmm, we did not go caroling tonight. We also did not recite any incantations or sing to any trees (though there were a couple of Christmas trees available). I don't even know any incantations. I guess maybe we just drank wassail without the whole wassailing experience. We studied about following Jesus and prayed for God to enable us to do that better.
As I read about wassailing tonight, I'm reminded that we (human beings) can do some odd things at times. I've never heard of reciting incantations and singing to trees to insure a good harvest. I guess around here I could sing to the cotton farmer's fields. What would you sing to a cotton field? Maybe a little Creedence Clearwater Revival like "Cotton Fields Back Home." I'll probably pass on singing to the cotton fields.
I guess all cultures have their share of odd sounding traditions and superstitions. In the U.S., we have superstitions like black cats walking in front of you, the number 13, rabbit's foot, 4-leaf clover, cross your fingers, and knock on wood. Knock on wood is used to ward off bad luck after tempting fate. I've heard people say things like, "I haven't had the flu yet, knock on wood." I guess we hear those things and just repeat them without thinking. If you think about it, there are a lot better things we can say as a follower of Jesus. We could say, "I have not had the flu yet, praise the Lord." When we talk about something bad that has not happened, that should be an occasion to thank or praise God.
Proverbs 3:5 says, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding." Believers in Christ need to be actively trusting in Christ and not giving attention to superstitions. I'm glad that my life is not in the hands of a black cat or the number 13. Praise God, my life is in the hands of a loving Father who I can trust in because He's faithful. I can face the future knowing that my life is in the hands of the One who holds the future, knock on wood.... no way- PRAISE THE LORD!!
Praising God in the abundant life,
3 things I thank God for today
1. I drank wassail without wassailing
2. God holds the future
3. Chicken pot pie