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More Life To Come 100 Year Anniversary Celebration: Part Two!

Our next celebration event for our 100 year anniversary, More Life to Come, will be Sunday, February 5th@ 10 a.m. We will be remembering the second 25 years of the congregation, 1943-1968. During this time, Zelzah Norsk Evangelik Luthers Kirke changed their name to The Central Lutheran Church of the San Fernando Valley, then to First Lutheran Church of North Los Angeles, and then to First Lutheran Church of Northridge. Barbara Lestrange will speak at the celebration worship and give us insight into those years, including her own involvement in  the life of our community!

Fascinating artifacts of the time and delicious deserts to follow!

moved into the neighborhood

John 1
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
Eugene Peterson wrote a translation of the Bible, The Message, that really causes you to look at God’s word from a slightly different angle. I always remember his translation of this verse.
“The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood.”
This is what Jesus does. He moves into our lives in such a way that we become a light wherever we find ourselves. Whether at work, or in school, or in our neighborhood.
As we follow Jesus, we bring light instead of blindly stumbling in the darkness. We make our neighborhoods different. Wherever we go, we bring a place of love, joy, and peace. We move into the neighborhood.
And as we continue to be God moving into the neighborhood, what impact does God have in store for us? The light continues to shine. If God himself can move into the neighborhood and bring his glory, why would God not use us to do this same thing?
ME
How are you a light in your neighborhood?

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John 1
But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
Here we have entered the Bible. This is our family history. As we believe, as we trust Jesus is who he says he is, our Savior, the author of all life- we are born again. When we connect with him and become his people, Jesus brings us into God’s family with all his power.
It is not living life by our own instincts and urges, our own thinking and philosophizing, that brings us life. Wen we know Jesus as our Lord we are born again into the new creation. 
So, here we see that John is writing about us almost 2000 years ago. God’s people carry on his Word and under his power make the world different and bring light into the darkness. This is what Christian churches represent. From the beginning, bringing light into the darkness. Those people who gather as Christian community for centuries, we who gather today, all have the same purpose in God’s plan, to bring his light into this world.
ME
Are you connected to a Christian community? If not, do so for the new year.

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John 1

9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.

11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

God can’t make it any clearer than Jesus. Remember, “I am the way, the truth, and the life?”

Jesus brings the truth of all existence. All people can know the truth if they are connected to Jesus. He gives the clear message of love, joy, and peace.

Love- Willing the good of all people and working for it in all his power.

Joy- Coming into our world because he is so glad to be with us.

Peace- Through Jesus, eventually, everything is going to be right in our lives.

Over-sexualizing life and violence aren’t the way, the truth and the life. Human ways are not the answer. Jesus is the answer. Love, joy and peace can only come from one source.

Before the creation of the world, all of creation was in darkness. Then the light breaks through and brings life. And the ultimate final creation are human beings. But human beings don’t see the light. They prefer to live in the darkness of following what they want. Even those human beings God chooses to bring light to the world, the Jewish people, will choose darkness. Yes, even after God sends the law through Moses, pointing people in the right direction, God’s own people, prefer to stay in the dark.

But now, with the coming of Jesus, the true light of the world breaks. This time it is through one human, Jesus, and that is enough. The life Jesus brings is clearly evident. Yes, God’s people will still prefer darkness. But, not all.

Not you and me.

 

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4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.

7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.

8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.

Jesus brings life. We will hear him say later in John’s gospel, “I am the way, the truth and the life.”

Yes, Jesus sees himself as being the source of all existence. He comes to earth so that we can know who God really is. No more worshiping the sun, or moon, or trees or idols made of stone. These gods are only representations of what people want. We create gods in our own image. This is why so much of religion humanity creates includes lots of violence and lots of sex.

This over sexualization and rampant violence become worshiping the darkness. This has been going on since the beginning of humanity and it is still going on.

In Genesis 1 the world is created out of light. But, we will soon see, people want to remain in the darkness. They don’t want to understand God. People are their own gods and they want things their own way.

Now in John 1, the light appears again. Only this time we see darkness will not be the final word. God sends a final prophet who announces the light of the world has come. The prophet, John the Baptist, cousin of Jesus, has come to know his cousin is God himself. The light of the world. And through Jesus all people can finally understand God. The word. And they can trust in God through Jesus.

 

ME

What are examples of the oversexualization of our society?

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John 1
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
Here we see God’s great reboot. Where have we heard the words, “In the beginning…” before? At the creation in Genesis 1, the first words of the Bible, in the Old Testament. Now, in the New Testament, we hear these same words again, “In the beginning…”
John, the author of the Gospel of John, is telling us this book is about the God of creation acting in a new way with his creation. What has begun in Genesis is going to be fulfilled by the creator God acting in a new way within the world he creates.
Reboot. It is all about the Word.
The word, “Word,” is an interesting one. Our words take on life of their own. When we speak we use breath and the sound that comes out is received by the hearer. Our words take on meaning.
“He is a man of his word.”
“I give you my word.”
And words have power.
“I love you.”
“I’m sorry.”
“We have the test results…”
God’s Word takes on a life of it’s own. From eternity, God’s Word is Jesus. All of existence comes through his Word.
ME
How do you use your words best?

1st-church

Zelzah Norse Evangelisk Luthers Kirke Sunday!

We kick off the 100 year anniversary of our congregation this Sunday! We will be worshiping circa 1917 with special insights by Martha Pfleger, granddaughter of the family in whose home it all started! Delicious period refreshments will be served following as we peruse fascinating pictures and artifacts from the first 25 years!

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2017 100 Year Anniversary of LIFEhouse Church!

Each month through April we will have a special worship service to coincide with a 25 year period in the life of our congregation.
Our first event is:
Zelzah Norsk Evangelisk Luthers Kirke Sunday!
Sunday, January 8@ 10 a.m.
Commemorating the first 25 years, 1917-42, including worship elements from that time! There will be light refreshments and an historical artifacts exhibit afterwards.
Don’t forget to save the weekend of April 29-30 for our main celebration!