Dear Parish Family,
Amidst all of the turmoil going on around us both here on the Island and in our country, Hilton Head Island finds itself hosting the Heritage Golf Tournament!
However, it is not "business as usual!” In some ways, the Island is full of tourists as it usually is during this time. Sea Pines has an abundance of visitors, many of whom are renting properties on and around Harbourtown Golf Links, hoping to watch some of the tournament and maybe get a glimpse or even speak with one of the professional golfers. And, amazingly, the Tournament is hosting the top five players ranked by the golf world right now; which is unprecedented for our tournament. This year, we are not hosting the tournament on the heels of the Masters. In fact, last week was the first week that players returned to the Tour. Many are eager to play in tournaments again and get their game “tuned” to be prepared for the Major tournaments coming later this year.
Unusually, there will be no spectators on the grounds of the golf course: no grandstands, no vendors; and only those required to run a tournament and broadcast a tournament will be allowed on the grounds. Strange days! And, yet, amidst this challenge, the tournament has returned, and most of us count it a blessing. Yes, we still need to be careful; we need to "social distance," and we need to avoid close contact with visitors especially, because there seems to be a resurgence. But, the tournament, albeit not "as usual" will take place, bringing publicity and revenue to the Island during a difficult time.
A second chance, yes; but not business as usual. The Gospel: a second chance because of the gift of Jesus on the cross. A second chance because we "failed" the first time, through our sin, and we were "dead in our sins" (see Romans 3). We needed a Savior who has taken upon Himself our iniquities, our failures, our sickness, our sin (see Isaiah 52:13-53:12). And then, resurrection from the dead, bringing new life with no longer "business as usual;" a change. We are changed, inside and out. We are healed from the pain, consequences, and penalty of our sin. We are given new life and need to "social distance" from our sin by the Holy Spirit working in us. And, God wants to bring out our best, in ways that have never happened before! Not necessarily the way we want it, but it is good; we are good; not because of our self, our own strength, but because of the gift.
As you enjoy the Heritage this week….probably on TV, remember the gift of “the second chance.” The second chance is not because we have earned it, but because it was given to us through Jesus. The second chance was given to the players and to our Island by the PGA Tour officials; and in the case of salvation, we have been given a second chance through Jesus Christ and His work on the Cross: new life and eternal life, and the fruit that we bear by the Holy Spirit working in us. And, because of our second chance in Jesus, we are blessed, and we bless others! Just like the Heritage will "bless many" this week!
Enjoy the Heritage!
With love, in Christ,