On Saturday I met up with a buddy to play a round of golf. As requested, I prepaid the golf fee. They explained it was “for safety reasons” and would limit potential contact with staff.  Makes sense. Also, let me say that on the reservation tee time sheet on the counter in the Pro Shop the whole afternoon was open. There were no reservations.
After my buddy arrived he got his golf cart and we prepared to go out and play but were told that we had to share a cart. For the past 6 months or so, “for safety reasons,” we’ve had the option not to share a cart (if related you could ride together). But literally, overnight, the golf course changed their policy without regard that there is still a pandemic and Sarasota has risen back into the critical range (barely that is). They now require unrelated passengers to share a cart.   I’m working on getting a refund which is a whole other story with another point. I’ll let you know how that goes.  I made it clear that I won’t be going back to play there nor will I recommend or even suggest to others that they give it a try.
I was drawn back to the message this Sunday. It seems that this experience is a reinforcing example (non-church that is) of what we as a faith community are facing. We need to be willing to change and be more flexible in how we do church in the future and if all we do is go back to old practices and patterns how many Bruces and his buddies will no longer show up or even bother to suggest/recommend to others that they “give it a try.”  People will just walk away.  A previous model doesn’t automatically make it a productive one.
A great question was posed: What if we look at the situation as an opportunity, a gift, and an invitation to be a part of God’s amazing journey, offering new ways to witness, spreading the good news of the Gospel rather than simply going back to old practices and patterns and hope for the best?

Scripture Reading: 1 Peter 4:8-9
“Above all, maintain constant love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins. Be hospitable to one another without complaining.” 

Reflection Questions:
What is your favorite leisure activity or hobby?
What will “church” look like to you in 5 years?
What is involved in a love that covers a multitude of sins?

Prayer: Holy God, help me not to be afraid of what lies ahead.
Keep me open to new possibilities and let my love for others
be constant. Amen.

To view previous readings click HERE