Main Text: Matthew 2:13-23 (Isaiah 63:7-9; Hebrews 2:10-18)

We have done a lot of talking over this past year together. From the Café conversations to the “Finding the Verb” exercise that led to a new mission statement and the “Rule of Love” developed. This conversation has identified who you are as a community of faith and why you exist. It identified the gifts God has given you and how they are used. The last Café we did was to identify the five areas of focus desired of the new pastor and the five ways that APLC will support that pastor. You said that you would pray for the new pastor, actively participate, offer gifts (time, talent and treasure), have an open mind and work collaboratively. Now it is time for you to fulfill these words spoken as you receive your new pastor in the new year. This passage in the gospel of Matthew is difficult for us to hear. It is the story of the martyr of the innocents. It is also, however, the story of God’s incredible love of God for the world. Despite the evil and dangers, God so loved the world that he sent his own son to fulfill what has been spoken through the prophets. Now, as APLC receives this new relationship and vision, may your resolve also lead you to fuill all the words that you have been spoken.