Second Sunday of Advent
The Lord Will Be Like Strong Soap in a Wash Basin
Malachi 3: 2
No one in Bible times ever took a shower. Sometimes they took tub baths in metal tubs they brought into the house and filled with water, but mostly they took sponge baths from wash basins.
People far out on the desert where water was very scarce sometimes used sand to clean themselves instead of water.
Yet cleanliness was very important to the people of God, and they worked hard at keeping themselves, their clothes, and their houses clean.
Northern Europeans make soap from animal fat and lye, but the soap of the Middle East was vegetable-based, made from palm or olive oil.
A soap dish makes a lovely Christmas present, as we remember that Jesus came to wash away our sins.
Find a small plastic soap dish at the 99-cent store for each child, and let them decorate it with stickers or permanent markers.
If you can find inexpensive glass soap dishes, decorate them with bakeable clay and bake according to package directions.
These soap dishes can become very creative indeed.
And, if you can find a vegetable-based soap, place it in the dish as part of the gift.
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