Voices of Faith: The Waiting is the Hardest Part at Christmas

Waiting… Waiting is something many of us have a very hard time doing — especially around the holidays. For children it is the waiting to be out of school and to finally get to open those presents under the tree. For the rest of us, there is shopping to be done, presents to wrap, performances to attend and plans to be made. As the cold has crept in over the Kenai Peninsula and the sun’s rays increasingly dip low below the horizon, it is very easy even to wait and long for a new season to arrive. It seems like in life we can often be so focused on waiting.

Even amidst the clamor of holiday preparations we can see that Christmas is also about waiting. Western Christian churches have celebrated this time of “Advent” or “expectant waiting” as they prepared to rejoice in remembering Christ’s birth. Each Sunday before Christmas a different theme of hope, peace, joy and love would be the focus as these themes point to the arrival of God on earth. These promised themes were fulfilled when Christ was born. In the Bible the prophet Isaiah wrote about God coming to earth in human form to be a light for people: “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.” (Isaiah 9:2) Creation would no longer need to wait as it could celebrate that God had come to earth to bring humanity back in relationship with him. Jesus came also to fulfill the longings of our world to bring wholeness. Isaiah 9:6 declares his role: “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” With all the divisions in our lives, family, country and world, isn’t it great to know that God has come near and the wait to be in a relationship with God is over? Yes, the wait is over! Jesus Christ brought light into a dark and hurting world. Sometimes at Christmastime it is so easy to get lost in all the busyness and preparations of focusing on the day. As the wait and countdown to Christmas comes closer, we can be people who receive Christ’s light and share it with others. Jesus brought the world the gifts of hope, peace, joy and love. The waiting is over, open that present of God’s love and relationship in your life.

Pastor Frank Alioto serves as the Spiritual Care Coordinator at Central Peninsula Hospital and as a Chaplain with Central Emergency Services.

More in Life

File
Minister’s Message: The power of small beginnings

Tiny accomplishments lead to mighty successes in all areas of life

A copy of “Once Upon the Kenai: Stories from the People” rests against a desk inside the Peninsula Clarion’s offices on Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Off the Shelf: Hidden history

‘Once Upon the Kenai’ tells the story behind the peninsula’s landmarks and people

Artwork by Graham Dale hangs at the Kenai Art Center in Kenai, Alaska, on Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022. These pieces are part of the “Sites Unseen” exhibition. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Apart and together

‘Sites Unseen’ combines the work of husband and wife pair Graham Dane and Linda Infante Lyons

Homemade garlic naan is served with a meal of palak tofu, butter chicken, basmati rice and cucumber salad. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: Naan for a crowd

When it comes to feeding a group, planning is key

P.F. “Frenchy” Vian poses with a cigar and some reading material, probably circa 1920, in an unspecified location. (Photo courtesy of the Viani Family Collection)
Unraveling the story of Frenchy, Part 6

The many vital chapters in the story of Frenchy fell into place

File
Jesus, God of miracles, provides

When you are fishing or eating them, remember how Jesus of Nazareth used fish in some of his miracles

Sugar cookies are decorated with flowers of royal icing. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
Blooming sugar cookies

These sugar cookies are perfectly soft and delicious, easy to make, and the dough can be made long in advance

File
Minister’s Message: What God wants you to know

Do you ever have those moments when you turn toward heaven and ask God, “What do You want with me?”

Eventually, all but one of Frenchy’s siblings would live for a time in the United States. Carlo Viani, pictured here in the early 1900s, also spent some time in Alaska. (Photo courtesy of the Viani Family Collection)
Unraveling the story of Frenchy, Part 5

By many accounts, P.F. “Frenchy” Vian appears to have been at least an adequate game warden for Kenai

Will Morrow (courtesy)
Room for growth

Plants that require lots of watering, fertilizer, mulching for the winter, other constant care? The moose can have them

"Protection: Adaptation and Resistance" includes these robes, "Kaxhatjaa X'óow: Herring Protectors," made by Káakaxaawulga/Jennifer Younger, K'asheechtlaa/Louise Brady and Carol Hughey. The show is on exhibit at the Pratt Museum & Park in Homer, Alaska, through Sept. 24, 2022. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
Art of resistance

Pratt show features Native art of the pandemic and beyond