Advent is now upon us. It is a time of waiting and a time of preparation for the anniversary of the coming of the Son of God. Instead of making spiritual preparations during Advent, many of us get caught up in the demands of the holiday season. Any extra time we have is spent on the material preparations that have become an annual tradition, such as buying gifts, decorating our homes and work areas, planning parties, and baking treats.
Earlier this month, CNN reported on how a large family in Texas is coping with the rising food prices. The report opened with the father, Larry Stotler, describing his family:
There’s an old movie that came out in 1966, when I was nine years old. I didn’t see it until a few years later, when it was shown on TV for the first time. The name of the movie was The Bible: In the beginning. . . One scene from the movie popped into my mind recently when I was thinking about how children and students in our public schools are now being taught that homosexual behavior is “normal” and that the students have a right to change their gender any time they want to, as long as they have a desire to do so. This teaching is supported by our mainstream media, evil politicians, corrupt executives that run our global corporations, prominent celebrities, and “influencers” on social media.
My wife and I took a few days off last week and drove to Branson, Missouri, for a short vacation. It was our third trip to Branson. Our last trip there was more than 15 years ago. One of the reasons we wanted to go to Branson was because we had heard about a Broadway-quality musical show about the life of Jesus that was playing at one of the theaters. The title of the show was Jesus.
Did you know that there’s an old plantation hymn that Catholics traditionally sing in church on Good Friday? The hymn was composed in the 19th century by African American slaves and was first published in 1899 by William Eleazar Barton in his hymnal, Old Plantation Hymns. Here’s the first verse of the hymn:
I graduated from high school in 1975 (45 years ago). The school I attended was in a rural area of Peoria County. Most of the students in the school were from families in which at least one parent worked in a blue-collar job, such as manufacturing or the building trades. I came from one of those families.