Retired pastor pens book

‘Messages for Christmas’ relates Bible stories to life today

A retired pastor may not have to deliver sermons about Christmas during the holiday season, but that does not stop him from thinking about it.

The Rev. Dr. Claude B. Hall, 88, has been giving a lot of thought to the significance of the birth of Christ, and has written a book called “Messages for Christmas.”

Each of its 12 chapters consider a different occurrence in the Bible that is tied to Christ’s birth or an inspirational reflection. In preparation for the Christmas season, Hall will hold a book signing from 1 to 8 p.m. Dec. 7 at the Dunnings Creek Church of the Brethren, 195 Church Road, New Paris.

He served as an interim pastor there for two years and also served as pastor of Bedford Church of the Brethren and Curryville Church of the Brethren. He earned his doctorate in Christian education from the Graduate School of Religion at Bob Jones University and a bachelor of divinity degree from Temple Baptist Theological Seminary.

Hall said he had been thinking about writing a book on Christmas for some time, but had more time to devote to it after he and his wife, Pastor Mary Lou Hall, moved to Cross Keys Village in New Oxford.

Much of the book is based on the gospels of Mark and Luke and tells how the angels spoke to Mary and Joseph about the virgin birth.

While telling the stories, he also relates them to life today.

He said the wise men had to walk by faith during their journey to find the Christ child just as people have to do today.

And while Christmas is a joyous time, he writes about its dark side, too.

He said after King Herod was visited by the wise men, the king had every boy 2 years old and younger in the Bethlehem area killed.

He said people go through dark times today, too.

“We depend on God to sustain us,” he said.

Another chapter is about Simeon and Anna, who waited years to see the fulfillment of the promise of the Messiah. They are both at the Temple when Mary and Joseph bring the infant Jesus there for the first time.

He also writes about how people are confronted with “peace robbers and “joy killers” in their lives and how people can experience joy and an inner peace.

The book is published by Xulon Press and sells for $12.49 in paperback and $20.99 in hard cover. It is available on Amazon.

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