Pastor’s Message

Reaching Out from

Grand Lake Community Chapel

See the source image

Wednesday, January 6, 2020

Greetings in Christ!

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it!  Let us rejoice that today is the Epiphany of the Lord (or Three Kings day, if you prefer), the day that the wise men arrived at the manger to greet and honor the Christ Child.  Their arrival heralded the expansion of Jesus’ call to bring salvation to all peoples, from his initial task of saving only the Jews, that will be more fully articulated about mid-way through the Gospels – which is incredibly good news for all of us who are not descended from the Hebrew people.  Thanks be to God for this gift that continues to bring light to the world over 2,000 years later!

The Magi had traveled via caravan from the East, an arduous journey that in reality would have taken many months, instead of merely twelve days, because they had seen the star at its rising. These men were astronomers, most likely practitioners of Zoroastrianism, an ancient religion based on astronomy and astrology, and were keenly aware of any changes in the night skies.  In our technology-driven world, living as we do in warm and comfortable homes with electric lights and myriad conveniences, we aren’t often as intimately acquainted with the night sky as our ancestors were. We think that’s too bad, because looking up at the layers upon layers of stars can fill us with a sense of awe and wonder that is sadly lacking in our daily lives.  Your pastors love to camp and to sit around a campfire looking up at the stars, or to step outside into the yard and life our eyes heavenward; we find it to be incredibly peaceful, and we often have rich, meaningful conversations as we watch the layers of light develop.  Why don’t you bundle up and step outside tonight, and look up at the glorious mosaic of light that our Creator God has put in place for us to contemplate and enjoy?  You will be amazed at what you see, and by what you feel!

As we enter into the new year (and as we return from our “staycation”), now is a good time to take a few moments to reflect on the journey that was 2020, and to look forward to the journey that will be 2021.  Just as it took the Magi more than twelve days to reach Bethlehem, it will take all of us more than a handful of days to fully appreciate what this year will bring.  So look up to the stars, see what you can see, and allow yourself to be guided into the presence of Christ.

In Christ,


Karen and Greg

For the grace of God has appeared,
bringing salvation to all men, Titus 2:11

Pastor’s Message

Reaching Out from

Grand Lake Community Chapel

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Merry Christmas!

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad that Christmas Day is almost here!  Just two days from today, we will be joining with our brothers and sisters worldwide to herald the glad tidings of Christ’s birth!  Thanks be to God for the inestimable gift of his Son, come to Earth to save us!

After four weeks of preparation, four weeks of waiting (with varying levels of patience…), on Christmas morn the world will be made new.  Amid the joyful shouts of Merry Christmas!, we hope that there will be equally joyful prayers of thanksgiving offered up; we hope that there will be enough quiet time, after the presents are opened and admired, for a bit of contemplation on what has occurred.  A baby has been born, laid in a manger, wrapped in bands of cloth, and adored by his parents; a baby has been born, who is Emmanuel, God with us.  This particular birth, in a non-descript town in a remote region of a conquered land, was the single most important birth in all of history; the world would never be the same again, and for that we should all be eternally grateful.  We take so much for granted, yet this particular birth that we celebrate on Christmas Day, is one thing we should never take for granted because our lives and futures would look so very different had it not occurred.  We pray that this Christmas, that you will be filled with the Hope, Love, Joy, and Peace that the birth of Jesus brought into the world, and that continues to bless us to this day.  Merry Christmas, our beloved friends, and a very Happy New Year as well; may the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be yours, now and forevermore.  Amen.

With our love,

Karen and Greg

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14

Pastor’s Message

Reaching Out from

Grand Lake Community Chapel

See the source image

Wednesday, December 16, 2020 

This is the third Wednesday in the Season of Advent that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!  Let us rejoice that the birth of our Savior is only nine days away; let us be glad that very soon the Light of the World will chase our fears from the dark corners of our souls; and let us truly rejoice and be glad that Love, in the form of a little baby boy, will come down on Christmas Day!

It’s all too easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season as we search for the perfect gifts and stress over making our homes look perfect, so that we lose sight of the awesome event that is about to unfold before our very eyes.  Even though we’ve enjoyed dozens of Christmases over our lifetimes, we hope that it never gets “old” for you; we hope that the meaning of this holiday never gets buried in tinsel and bows, that it never gets lost amongst the cookies and festive drinks.  We celebrate every year because we too easily forget that the world changed on that first Christmas Day. We celebrate every year because, sometimes, we put away the truth of the Christ Child when we put away our decorations.  We celebrate every year because, sometimes, we return the gift of salvation from God when we return the sweater that was the wrong size.  Let this be the year that we don’t forget, that we don’t put away Jesus, that we don’t turn our backs on salvation; let this be the year that Christmas lives in our hearts, all the year long.

With our love,


Karen and Greg

Pastor’s Message

Reaching Out from

Grand Lake Community Chapel

See the source image

Wednesday, December 9, 2020 

Greetings in Christ!

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it!  We’re now 16 days away from the birth of our Savior, and we still have time to make our final preparations for his arrival; praise God for these extra days!

The first two Advent candles burn brightly on the Advent wreath, the candles of Hope and Peace.  This coming Sunday, we’ll light the candle of Joy; what could be more appropriate, as we approach the manger, than expressing joy?  As challenging as these COVID-19 dominated days can be, they are not joyless; joy is an expression of God’s goodness.  Joy is not happiness, although they’re irrefutably linked concepts; joy is a deep-rooted feeling that is resilient, while happiness comes and goes.  But how do we find joy, in the midst of a pandemic, with restrictions being reimposed on our activities, and economic dislocations causing unknown damage to our lives?  Evangelist Jefferson Bethke once wrote that “Thankfulness is the quickest path to joy,” and in his words we can see a way to that sometimes-elusive sense of joy.  Let us be thankful.  Let us give thanks to God for the good people who have given freely of themselves to care for others; let us give thanks to God for family and friends who check up on us, let us give thanks to God for the roll-out of vaccines around the world, and let us give thanks to God for the birth of his Son!

This will be a most unusual Christmas; that is undeniable.  But Christmas is coming, and there’s no stopping it; if we approach the day with thankful hearts, we will know the joy of the Lord.  Not only on Christmas Day, but every day for the rest of our lives.

With our love,

Karen and Greg

And my soul shall be joyful in the Lord.Psalm 35:9