By SUE SEIBERT
As you know, Advent began last Sunday and will last through Christmas Eve. It is the time of waiting and preparation for the Nativity of Jesus. It is a time to prepare ourselves to greet the Christ child once again as we celebrate his birthday.
A few weeks ago on Facebook the wife of one of St. Luke’s former priests posed the question, “What do you intend to use as a devotional study during Advent?”
I had sort of been expecting an Advent study guide by Magnificat Publishing, but as none had arrived at the church this year, I really didn’t know. Usually I try for a book and a short devotional in addition to our usual evening prayer, but I had not picked a book.
At first I thought of re-reading Anthony Destefano’s “The Invisible World: Understanding Angels, Demons, and the Spiritual Realities That Surround Us,” as it is a book which has helped me a lot.
Then, again on Facebook, I saw that one of my Christian friends in California, whom I have never met, had “liked” Corrie ten Boom. I remembered reading Corrie ten Boom’s work before, and I remembered her voice, through her work, calling me to a closer walk with Christ.
So I went online and ordered “Tramp for the Lord.” I had read some of her other books, the most memorable being “The Hiding Place,” which was made into a movie.
If you don’t know about Corrie, and if you haven’t read her books, I would strongly recommend you do both – learn about her and read her books. And to that end, I will tell you a little to whet your appetite.
Corrie was a Dutch watchmaker who was born in 1892. During the Holocaust she and her family hid Jews who, in her father’s words, are “God’s chosen people,” and I certainly agree with that.
Because of their efforts to help Jewish refugees escape the horror of the Nazi concentration camps, they were arrested in 1944 and Corrie and her sister, Betsie, were sent first to prison and then to a women’s camp in Germany where her sister died. At the time of their arrests, Corrie was 52 and Betsie was 59. The father died 10 days after he was arrested. A brother, sister and nephew were released, but Corrie and Betsie were held.
I know in some of the schools this year the eighth grade has been required to read “The Diary of Anne Frank.” I am so glad our schools are, just a little bit at least, teaching the children the horrors of World War II because it was be a dreadful thing if ever we forget.
So, I encourage everyone to find a book, short or long, or a devotional guide, even one online, and to pray and meditate as we await the celebratory day … the reason why we have the “holidays.” This is the month in which we celebrate Christ’s birth. It’s the month of Christmas.
On a lighter note, Raf and I did attend Messiah at Bass Hall last week and, lo and behold, the gal who sat next to me had, indeed, bathed in her perfume. Yuck!