Once a year I borrow a set of clubs and show up on the golf course for the FoG Men's Fellowship Annual Golf Tournament. Yes, that's me on the left with the tennis shoes and the glove-less left hand. I have to admit it is somewhat intimidating to show up where others have hundreds, if not thousands, of hours of experience and jump in and play. I fuddle and muddle around. The folks who know the game patiently offer tips and pointers. I would really be in trouble if I were on my own, but because we play a special version of golf called scramble, my bad shots don't count, and only the best shot of the foursome counts for each swing. And if all of us miss we get 6 feet of string to make up for all the little things that can go so wrong when attempting to hit a very small ball with the end of a three foot stick across closely cropped grass into a hole. I experienced scramble grace, had a great time, and will be back next year, even further behind in hours played, and more in need of grace.
I bet it feels even more intimidating when someone who was not raised in the church shows up for worship on Sunday Morning. Am I dressed right? Sing in public? Reading responsively? Pass the peace? Maybe getting called on in a sermon? Invited to the communion table?
I wonder how might we might convey to these folks that worship at Family of Grace is more like the scramble version of worship?