Obedience in the little things

We've been thinking about the call to be obedient in all of our housegroups this week. I think it is obedience in the small things that often leads to great things happening in our lives. A few years ago I met a New York pastor who told me this story. About two or three weeks before the 9/11 disaster a friend of his told him he should buy a clerical collar. The minister came from a non conformist tradition and simply discarded his friend's suggestion.  A few days later the man was met by his friend  and again he suggested that he buy a clerical collar. He added " I'm sure you'll need it one day"  This time the pastor found a clerical outfitters and purchased the item. He told me he took it home and placed it in a drawer thinking to himself. "I'll never wear this" Two or three weks later it was 9/11 he heard the story on the news and he immediately went to the site to offer help. His church building was very close to the scene of the crime. When he arrived down town every street was cordoned off. He approached the police to get through barracades, to be told it was only uniformed personnel who were allowed through. He immediately went home put on his clerical collar and was allowed to pass into the area. The clerical collar was a pass that allowed hime to be a pastor to many people that day. During the following weeks and months his congregation played a vital role in offering help and support to thousands of people. So what would have happened if the pastor hadn't been obedient on the small simple thing of buying a clerical collar.

Posted By: italker   On: 19 Mar 2009   At: 3:40pm


You make a good point. I actually think that there is a major incident team already set up in the Falkirk area to deal with anything that might arise out of a disaster at the Grangemouth Chemical plant. I also think that the local Grangemouth ministers are part of that team. This was set up about 15 years ago. however you make a good point.It is important that ministers be available to stand along with the emergency services as people set apart by the faith communities to bring spiritual comfort at limes of great stress.


Posted By: Chris   On: 19 Mar 2009   At: 11:45am

ALbert, I really liked this story and gave a lot to think about. A friend of mine who is a Minister from down south now working up here in Scotland told me of a great schemee recently that was happening in his area. Each area in the South has a Major Incident Plan in place for any emergency that should happen. Now clergy are asked to come in and help draw up the plans and train on what each service (police, ambulance, fire, clergy etc) are expected to do when a Major Incident happens. Once they have been trained they are given an Identification badge which they keep. Should a Major Incident happen (e.g. plane crash, huge house fire, terror attack etc) this plan goes into action and the clergy turn up with their ID badge and are allowed on-site to do their part of the plan to help those affected.

How great is this idea for us to think about in Scotland? I wonder if the police and others would be up for something similar in Scotland and maybe eve roll it out for other incidencts such as a murder or serious assault - the police sending round the clergy to offer pastoral care and support. Any thoughts?

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