December 24, 2017

There is another carol you may be familiar with. Sing with me if you are familiar. It begins, “O holy night, the stars are brightly shining. It is the night of our dear savior’s birth. Long lay the world in sin and error pining, ‘til he appeared, and the soul felt its worth.” The composer to this beautiful hymn was Adolphe Adam, who incidentally also composed music for some of the most famous romantic era ballets, like Giselle...

December 17, 2017

“With music strong I come,” sang Walt Whitman in Leaves of Grass. “With music strong I come, with my cornets and my drums,

I play not marches for accepted victors only, I play marches for
conquer’d and slain persons...

Vivas to those who have fail’d!...
To… all overcome heroes!
And the numberless unknown heroes equal to the greatest heroes known!”

Christ comes with music strong, with a strain of joy that cannot be denied in the...

December 10, 2017

I see a man by the banks of the Jordan River. He is climbing down a tree at the riverside, licking the wild honey from his fingers. There is still some in his tangled hair. He looks a little crazy - in a really good way. His eyes are bright and tender, and very intense as he smiles, then shouts in enthusiasm over the river, arms wide, “'Prepare the way for the LORD, make straight paths for our most holy God.'" His wide arms tu...

December 3, 2017

“Quis custodiet ipsos custodes.” Between the first and second century, the same time our new testament reading was written, the Roman writer Juvenal wrote these words in his 6th of a series of satirical poems. “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes.” “Who watches the watchers?” It is a reminder to watch those in power. Christ reminds us to watch, to keep awake, to be aware. In this, what I enjoy seeing as Christ’s encouragement of cri...

August 20, 2017

Today I want to talk with you about the difference between power-over grace and empowering grace. In the end, it is empowering grace we want. You see, power-over grace comes from a particular understanding of sin and forgiveness called substitutiary atonement. Marcus Borg reminds us this newer understanding of a more transactional atonement was not the default of Christian faith for the first thousand years. St. Anselm articul...

July 30, 2017

If life is like crossing a night lake, with dark waters that can call us in, make us lose sight of shore, sometimes we can submerge into water and feel the world saying no. Sometimes we surface to cross the water to the shore in response to God’s yes. We all exist in a lifetime of nos and yeses, of moving through that overwhelmed feeling and the persistence of the crossing. In Christ, God has given us a gift, a yes embedded in...

July 16, 2017

“But one day I shall know how to use

the poor passions

that flinch from the surface

of evident life - to surpass what I cannot

survive, search out, to partake

of the sleeper’s metallic condition

and his burning beginnings.”

Chilean poet Pablo Neruda penned these words as he lay dying of cancer, and you can hear him grasping for what the Village Voice called, “the clarity of spiritual flight.” To join the sleeper, to bring those poor...

July 9, 2017

An old Swedish folktale presents a man with a choice. He could be granted a wife who is beautiful and unfaithful, or a wife who is old and faithful. After a moment’s consideration, he says, “I want her to be what she wishes to be.”  Unsurprisingly, this man finds himself blessed with a partner who is beautiful and faithful.

I share this story not to cast judgment on any of the variations of “wife”, and certainly not to speak of...

June 18, 2017

An escaped southern convict is trying to get back home. He goes through many trials and travails on his journey, gets all the way back, only to discover his wife has a new suitor, and he must now also try to regain his place in his family. This is the Coen brothers “O Brother Where Art Thou”, a retelling of Homer’s The Oddessy. As this man comes back home for the first time, he sees his three girls singing a song at a town gat...

May 28, 2017

I’ve been catching up on last year’s Pulitzer prize winning pieces. One of these has been Underground Railroad - by Coleman Whitehead. The story follows one slave woman, Cora, on her flight from the South on all of her stops on the Underground Railroad. Throughout are striking vignettes, one of which has returned to my mind over and over again. There was in this book a vignette about the oldest slave on the plantation, being a...

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Our Pastor

Rev. Larissa Romero
65 Pascack Road, Park Ridge, NJ 07656
     ​201-391-4066     
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