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Reserved for Clergy 
Wednesday, February 6, 2008, 07:43 AM - Extra Christy
As I was headed to my favorite rooftop hospital parking spot on a snowy day I noticed a small sign on a lower parking level. "Reserved for Clergy". Neat! I pulled in while congratulating myself on finding the spot after only two and a half years, but feeling a little guilty about whether I deserved the special treatment.

I got to thinking about the phrase. One thought was that some people could wear that as a label. "We're reserved when we are around clergy". I didn't think too much about that phenomenon until I was a chaplain for a volunteer fire department. Great guys who you are glad to see when you are in danger and need help. I would and did follow them into fire and depended on them to keep me alive and safe. No better folk are the volunteers who risk their lives to help others.

However, they were a little rougher than the average Presbyterian on Sunday. I once thought about not going to the monthly meetings. I told some of the officers that I didn't think I was being much help. I felt the shouting and cursing was evidence that my ministry as chaplain wasn't having an impact. The officers quickly corrected me, "Oh Rev. you gotta come. When you're not here, there's fist fights!" Turns out they were Reserved for Clergy, but it took others to see it.

Most people don't have a sign to remind them, but I am convinced that you and I have places reserved for us. I don't know what spot is waiting vacant for you to fill: parent, friend, brother, sister, church elder, teacher, coach, caretaker, firefighter, teammate, but go ahead and pull into that space...you're doing more good than you know.

Jesus Takes His Reserved Place

"When he finally arrives, blazing in beauty and all his angels with him, the Son of Man will take his place on his glorious throne. Then all the nations will be arranged before him and he will sort the people out, much as a shepherd sorts out sheep and goats, putting sheep to his right and goats to his left.

"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Enter, you who are blessed by my Father! Take what's coming to you in this kingdom. It's been ready for you since the world's foundation. And here's why:

I was hungry and you fed me,
I was thirsty and you gave me a drink,
I was homeless and you gave me a room,
I was shivering and you gave me clothes,
I was sick and you stopped to visit,
I was in prison and you came to me.'

"Then those 'sheep' are going to say, 'Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?' Then the King will say, 'I'm telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me-you did it to me.' -- Matthew 25:31-40 (Message)

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