There are plenty of passages we love to read and reread; but there are also many passages that give us pause, if not downright doubt. This morning, in our reading of the Slaughter of the Innocents, we encounter one of those passages. How do we feel after reading what Herod did to the youngest children in and around Bethlehem? It's ok to be challenged and struggle--and to admit you feel that way. But what we can realize is that there is always hope in Christ. We see, in this passage, that God gives us the freedom to respond to God's love in any way we want. We see one terrible response from Herod. He denies that grace of God, refuses God's Kingdom on Earth, and does everything he can to protect his own throne. The question we are left with in this passage, then, is how will we decide to respond? Will we fight God and fight the love and grace offered to us? Or will we live into it, showing our neighbors that very same love?
Image by Cerezo Barredo: http://servicioskoinonia.org/cerezo/
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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Iselin, NJ 1295
20 Middlesex Ave, Iselin, NJ
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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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