Minister’s Message: The hope of Christmas

History tells us that Jesus factually lived and later died on the cross. Therefore, the Christmas story is true history

The Christmas season is underway. We all seem to be involved with multiple Christmas events and finding the right present for each person. But somehow, the real joy and hope of Christmas emerges through all the cultural aspects of the holiday celebration. We seem to love people in a special way at Christmas.

For those who believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God, who came for our redemption from sin, there is a special meaning of Christmas. The hope of previous generations for a Messiah [the Christ] did happen with the birth of Jesus. Christmas represents the joy of the newborn babe, but this baby was different.

History tells us that Jesus factually lived and later died on the cross. Therefore, the Christmas story is true history. The life of Christ was recorded, not only by writers of the Bible, but also by neutral historians of the time. No other person’s life has been more thoroughly predicted or recorded or intensely studied more than the life of Jesus. More than 2,000 years later, we are still celebrating the birth of Jesus at Christmas. We are also celebrating His ministry and the hope of His second coming. The second coming of Jesus Christ will be far more spectacular than His first coming in Bethlehem.

In faith, people come to realize that God’s promises are more than just a vague hope. We can count on the certainty that God’s promises will come to fruition, when we love God and are obedient to His Word.

The writer of Hebrews wrote about hope. In Hebrews 11:1 it says: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Believers have a living relationship with the person of Jesus Christ and experience His wisdom, presence, guidance and blessings in their lives. These are the kind of things which when experienced, can never be forgotten.

One of the things we hope for at Christmas is to ultimately be where Jesus is. We look forward to the Second Coming of Jesus.1 Corinthians 13:12 says: “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.”

We want to know Christ and be with Christ but this verse tells us that Christ has fully known you! He loves you. God is love. In fact all the love in our lives and even the wonderful warm love we experience at Christmas is from God. 1 John 4:7 says: “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.”

The Coming of Christ Child was a hope of the people of old, which was fulfilled. Now we need to look forward to the hope of His Second Coming. Have a wonderful and blessed Christmas in the love and hope of Christ!

Roger Holl is the pastor of Sterling Grace Community Church. The church meets at the Sterling Senior Center. Please join our congregation for a Christmas Eve celebration in the morning at 10:30 a.m. on Dec. 24. Call 907-862-0336 for information.

More in Life

Christ Lutheran Church Pastor Meredith Harber displays necklaces featuring the cross in this undated photo. (Photo by Meredith Harber/courtesy)
Minister’s Message: Interwoven together for good

I hope that we can find that we have more in common than we realize

Virgil Dahler photo courtesy of the KPC historical photo archive
This aerial view from about 1950 shows Jack Keeler’s home on his homestead east of Soldotna. The stream to the left is Soldotna Creek, and the bridge across the stream probably allowed early access to the Mackey Lakes area. The road to the right edge of the photo leads to the Sterling Highway.
Keeler Clan of the Kenai — Part 6

“Most of those homesteaders won’t last”

A sign points to the Kenai Art Center in Kenai, Alaska, on Sunday, May 9, 2021. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai Art Center accepting submissions for ‘Medieval Forest’

The deadline to submit art is Saturday at 5 p.m.

People identifying as Democrats and people identifying as Republicans sit face to face during a workshop put on by Braver Angels in this screenshot from “Braver Angels: Reuniting America.” (Screenshot courtesy Braver Angels)
KPC lecture series to feature film and discussion about connecting across political divide

“Braver Angels: Reuniting America” is a nonpartisan documentary about a workshop held in the aftermath of the 2016 election of Donald Trump

Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion
This basil avocado dressing is creamy, sweet, tangy, and herbaceous — great for use on bitter greens like kale and arugula.
Memories of basil and bowling with Dad

This dressing is creamy, sweet, tangy, and herbaceous

Photo courtesy of Al Hershberger
Don and Verona pose inside their first Soldotna grocery store in 1952, the year they opened for business.
Keeler Clan of the Kenai — Part 5

By 1952, the Wilsons constructed a simple, rectangular, wood-frame building and started the town’s first grocery

Minister’s Message: Finding freedom to restrain ourselves

We are free to speak at a higher level of intelligence

Dancers rehearse a hula routine at Diamond Dance Project near Soldotna on Thursday. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Moving into magic

Diamond Dance Project all-studio concert puts original spin on familiar stories

Orion (Jacob Tremblay) and Dark (Paul Walter Hauser) in “Orion and the Dark.” (Promotional photo provided by Dreamworks Animation)
On the Screen: ‘Orion and the Dark’ is resonant, weird

Fear of the dark is natural, not some problem that Orion has to go on adventure to overcome

Most Read