This week, there was no sermon because we were graced with the children's pageant, and as you can imagine, it was great! However, in case you want to continue through the Advent passages, I'd like to offer my reflections on the lectionary readings this week (Isa.35:1-10; Ps. 146:5-10; James 5:7-10; Luke 1:46b-55; Matt. 11:2-11)
The Old Testament, Epistle lesson, and Gospel lesson continue in the preparation for the coming Messiah. You may remember that John the Baptist is seen preparing the way for the Lord, and the passage from Isaiah is about the prepared path. This passage brings good news to the oppressed and hope and new life to lifeless deserts. Isaiah reminds us that God has not given up o the original purpose for creation. Simply put, you better watch out, you better not pout--God is coming to town! But the good news is that with God, no one gets coal! We are all presented with the gift of God's grace and new life. The Epistle lesson this week comes from James, who reminds us that we must be patient as we await the coming Messiah. As farmers wait for their crops, we must be patient and strengthen our hearts. Finally, we are given Matthew 11:2-10 as the gospel reading. While the other two readings are about the road prepared and patiently waiting, this reading defines the expectations of the Messiah. When asked by John the Baptist's followers if he is the Messiah, Jesus tells them, "Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them. And blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me." We are only two weeks away from Christmas, but we are also 2000 years into the new life in Christ. May God continue to offer blessings to each and every one of you as we patiently wait for the second coming of the Messiah!
Rev. CHRIS HOUTZ
Welcome to the pastor’s blog! This page will have sermons uploaded so you can listen to them whenever you want, and I will add a brief reflection on the text, the sermon, or a little bit of both. My hope is that you will be able to see that the Bible can still speak to our world today, and that we can always find a note of God’s grace in any passage, whether it is one of the most well-known and beloved passages, or one of the most difficult readings to grasp.
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1295 Oak Tree Road
Iselin, NJ 1295
20 Middlesex Ave, Iselin, NJ
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Our Mission Statement
We are a friendly, multi-cultural congregation that welcomes all to worship with us as we glorify our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ; sing praises to God, the Father; and let the Holy Spirit guide our footsteps. As faithful witnesses to our Christian beliefs, we dedicate ourselves to worship, stewardship and discipleship. We will always endeavor to nurture the youth in our congregation to grow in their commitment to God and the Church and to become active participants in the life and work of the Church.
We commit ourselves to evangelism and mission to spread the good news of Jesus Christ to all people in a variety of ways in our community and beyond.
We will continue to be open to God’s presence, leading us into new pathways of ministry and service for the betterment of the community and to the glory of Jesus Christ our Savior. -
-ratified by congregational vote, January 27, 2008
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