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"I jump into a sand pit for a living"

Jonathan Edwards, World record triple-jumper

Heart of a servant

Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, "Here's a good seat for you," but say to the poor man, "You stand there" or "Sit on the floor by my feet," 4 have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? James 2:2-4

Have you ever noticed that there are a lot more people who want to be a chaplain at the Olympics than to the local sports team. At first reading many of us would say that we would never distinguish between people in the way James described. Are you sure that the prophet Nathan is not waiting outside to say, "You are the man"? (2 Samuel 12:7).

Even when we serve, our motives are not always pure. Let us be honest, it is more fun to be a chaplain to an Olympian than to a club player. But in God's eyes the two are equal. Some of us are called to be Olympic chaplains, others to serve at the local level. The motivation is the same - to show God's unconditional love to sportspeople who need Jesus.

Jesus cares as much for the player who is not in the starting line-up, who is injured, who has not had his contract renewed as he does for the millionaire superstar. Our ministry to the two should be the same. The chaplain who also spends time with the youth team players, the reserve team players, the admin staff is likely to be more respected than the player who just spends time with the first team.

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