Have you ever flown “First Class”?

“Miss ‘Nita” and I were flying from Ontario, California to St Louis and were “bumped up” to First Class. Surprise! Surprise!

I didn’t even think to check the seating we were issued at the desk; and, when they began boarding and all “First Class” Passengers were called, we didn’t move. We didn’t know to move. We were “First Class” all the time; but we didn’t know it!

The Flight Attendant told us to “turn left” when we boarded; and I questioned her; “What did you say? Turn left?”

Surprise! Surprise! We were ushered to the front row in the First Class Section.

They knew our names; and gave us a menu; and brought glass plates and real flatware and real cloth napkins – all “First Class” all the way.

I thanked God! I wasn’t feeling well; and really wasn’t looking forward to flying anyway; but if you gotta go “First Class”; well, I reckon that’s the way to go! Youknowaddimean?

At that time, you could see right inside the cockpit and watch the pilots do their thing – that is; the “First Class Travelers” could do that. I really enjoyed that.

My thoughts went to the ticket agent who had blessed us with those seats. She didn’t have to do that; but, being queasy and nauseous at the time; and not having slept the night before, I was so very thankful.

But I didn’t get to thank that ticket agent; and I was really sorry about that!

I didn’t let the flight attendant take off my shoes to put the slippers on (I mean, I had to draw the line somewhere) because, well, after all, I didn’t deserve to be there; I didn’t qualify to be there.

But, if she knew that, she didn’t change our treatment from all the other “First Class Travelers” who qualified to be there. In fact, I caught myself trying to figure out who qualified to be there and who did not.

I suppose the guy that Ken Langley wrote about in a similar message – who used his little cloth tablecloth as a great big bib was one of those. I don’t know; it could have been that he was a gillionaire who just didn’t know the difference between a tablecloth and a bib.

But you talk about “Hog’s Heaven” and “High Cotton” – and all of those clichés. We enjoyed them all. You know, as they say, it’s a dirty job but somebody’s gotta do it!

I suppose we have people sitting in “First Class” in our churches as well – who do not qualify to be there!

Surprised to hear me say it like that?

Don’t be; there are lots of misfits in churches; people who don’t qualify to be there.

But, when the truth is told; none of us qualify to be there – in God’s Presence? Are you kidding me?

None of us qualify to be called Children of God; have our sins forgiven and forgotten; none of us!

But, we are there courtesy of the Shed Blood of The Lord Jesus The Christ!

And you can be there too! If you don’t know how; I do; and I will share!

Tom Mooty has served Newport’s West End Baptist Church for a total of thirty three cumulative years. He has served as Secretary and Vice President of the Tennessee Baptist Pastor’s Conference; and writes this column for The Newport Plain Talk’s Wednesday and Weekend Editions. Please let the “Plain Talk” know your comments concerning this column.

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