Sunday, July 21, 2013

50 Years of Christ's Faithfulness at Redeemer

 Note: Last Sunday, July 14th, marked the 50th anniversary of Redeemer. On that date 50 years ago Redeemer celebrated her first worship service in what is now known as the Priscilla Circle room. Then it was a real estate office and the only existing structure on the property. In many and various ways Christ has blessed Redeemer these past 50 years, far too many to recount in a brief profile article for our local paper, the Huntington Beach Wave. This article will be included there in the coming weeks. And it's but a snapshot of Christ's faithfulness here. Thankfully the 50th anniversary day itself was made all the more joyous by great preaching, good hymns, and a little bit of good old Lutheran fun at a reception near by. Lord willing, Redeemer will continue to know nothing but Christ Crucified for the next 50 years. Enjoy!

Fifty years ago, the plot of land where Redeemer Lutheran Church now sits consisted of a humble real estate office, several Army surplus tents, and a vacant lot. Like most of Springdale Street in 1963, the property was full of rocks, dirt, and that infamously mushy Huntington Beach soil. Yet because it rested on a far firmer foundation, it was transformed into our congregation’s home right before our eyes.
You see, Christ’s Church is more than floors, walls, and a roof. Jesus promises to dwell with his people wherever two or three gather in his name. And what’s more, He promises to dwell with his people in very specific ways. Wherever Jesus’ word and sacraments are present, Jesus is there declaring a simple message to each of us: Christ died for you; he forgives you all your sins; and he does it right here in this place called the Church. The Church is wherever Jesus is. So no matter if you’re geographically located in a vacant lot, a prison cell, or a church building - wherever Jesus’ gifts are received in faith is where the Church is found.
That was certainly true on July 14th, 1963, when 70 people gathered for the first worship service at 16351 Springdale St.
And today it’s no different. Although the buildings and property have changed, Redeemer’s foundation remains the same. Christ’s death and resurrection is the bedrock of Redeemer, shaping everything we say, sing, and do around the church and in the community.
Redeemer is a place where Christ dwells with people living in a broken world of death and guilt. Redeemer is more than walls and pavement, classrooms and pews. It’s a home where the lost are found. It’s an oasis where you can find rest and healing for your body and soul. It’s a safe haven of mercy, sheltering you under the Cross of Christ.
This happens daily in our preschool and music academy, during Vacation Bible School and Sunday school, at Sunday services and Bible studies. It happens through our Hispanic outreach, campus ministry at Goldenwest College, community projects and so much more.
Redeemer is here to clearly proclaim Christ’s saving death for you. Redeemer is here to show Christ’s compassion to you in body and soul through caring service. Simply put, Redeemer is here for you.
We hope you’ll join us as the church gathers in this place to rejoice in Jesus’ promises, yesterday, today and forever. For the Church is wherever Jesus and his gifts are. At Redeemer, Jesus is here for you.

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