The congregants surrounded Pastor Lange’s desk like sharks circling a man clinging to plywood. He loosened his collar up a bit, feeling perspiration soaking through his blue oxford.
“You think I’ve gone off my proverbial rocker for allowing Brent Asher to teach the high school Sunday school class.”
Mumbles of agreement moved through the stuffy room. Pastor Lange smiled, picturing the tattooed; pony tailed twenty three year old speaking to a group of teens about the relevance of the Bible. The senior pastor cleared his throat to mask the laugh near escape.
“If I may remind you, for three weeks I stood in front of the entire congregation asking for people to pray about serving in teen ministry. Brent is the only one that came forward. Not only is he willing, he even designed the curriculum. I think he deserves a chance.”
Bart Jacobs narrowed his eyes and shook his head with a repeated no.
“Pastor, a good curriculum involves thorough Biblical examination. I believe sound teachings have specific bullet points, preferably with acronyms or catch words. The title of young Asher’s studies is a bit unorthodox, don’t you think?”
Jacobs held up the slick blue binder with WordArt font proclaiming the title.
HUH?—Exploring God When He Makes No Sense.
“I’ll tell ya what makes no sense, that hooligan teaching this heresy.”
Pastor Lange took a deep breath, silently asking the Lord for guidance.
He exhaled, pulling his copy of Brent’s folder out of his desk. Laminated pages turned. Pastor Lange stopped at the table of contents and started to recite.
“Huh? Getting to know Our God who Helped the Midwives Defy Pharaoh. Huh? Why God Would use a Prostitute and Allow Her to Lie. Huh? Jesus. I Don’t Get Why He Didn’t Just Say No Way.” Pastor Lange closed the book and continued.
“If you took the time to read, you’d see the entire series is Biblical. Not only that, relevant. Didn’t you ever ask these questions in your walk with the Lord? Brent asked us these very questions when he was a young teen and none of us gave him the time of day to answer. God forgive me for ignoring such a hunger.”
Pastor noted the crowd started to clear their throats and look to the floor. It was the same look he remembered Bart Jacobs having when twelve year old Brent Asher asked how in the world was there a virgin birth. No one dared say a word.
“I believe in a graceful God who gives folks a chance. Let’s say we give Mr. Asher some breathing room with this opportunity. Is that all, ladies and gentlemen?”
Pastor Lange bit his lip when he walked into Brent’s Sunday school room. It was a good thirty minutes before teens would even saunter into the room but Brent was already in there, praying over the empty chairs. Brent wore a black tie with his lime green tee shirt.
Pastor walked to the middle aisle and started praying over the chairs. Tears fell down his face as Brent stood in the gap for those searching for true love and real answers. When prayer time finished, Pastor Lange saw Bart Jacobs in the doorway.
“Hey Mr. J. You like? It’s cool I got your old room, right?”
Bart Jacobs gave his trademark look at the floor and back at Brent. Pastor was pretty sure Bart was staring at the young man’s ponytail.
“Right, right. So this is your first day teaching?”
“Yea Mr. J. Did you see the lessons? I’m so psyched.”
Bart cleared his throat and nodded.
“Say, I brought you something. Kind of from one teacher to another.”
Pastor Lange wasn’t sure what Bart was up to, but the older man walked to Brent and gave him a stack of papers.
“I found some verses and bulletin points. They’re answers from the Bible on those tough questions. You know, those ones that make you scratch your head.”
Brent tore through the pages.
“This is sick Mr. J. Hey look! An answer about the virgin birth. Boy did that trip me up for the longest time. Gotta tell ya, I was praying no one would ask me that today.”
“They will son, trust me. You’ll do just fine.”
Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful.
1 Corinthians 1:27, NLT
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