A band of brothers

Yesterday’s Sunday School class was so much fun.

I had finished the music portion of the first service at our church and snuck into my classroom where I teach the Middle School class when I saw who was around our table – 8 young men and one youth pastor. For some reason, there were only boys there yesterday and the high schoolers had joined my class for this one Sunday. As soon as I came into the room, the Youth Pastor ran out the back door. I’m pretty sure that he had somewhere that he needed to be, but it could have been that he wanted to unload the responsibility of dealing with this group of “guys.” The smiles around the table made me think that I had better hit the lesson hard – this group could get the toughest of teachers off track!

And so I kicked off the session with some guidance on materials that we would need and plunged head first into the discussion. We watched a DVD summary of what we would be covering and then opened our Bibles and got going.

The lesson started with the story of how David was selected as the future King of Israel. His seven brothers were each considered for the position and then rejected. David (then a very young man) wasn’t even part of the discussion until the priest, Samuel, insisted on meeting him. Each of the older brothers saw that the youngest, the weakest one of them, was selected for the most important of jobs.

And, then, as the history reports, this kid ends up taking up slingshot and stones and kills the biggest and baddest of all enemies – Goliath.

As we continued reading, we learned that not only did David have to deal with jealous and cranky siblings and a giant, but struggled with a troubled boss. King Saul was jealous of David’s success on the battlefield and began a plan to destroy him.

As I watched the young men around the table get into the story, I thought about each one of them. Some are taller than others with muscles that have been worked hard. Others are still just out of grade school, eager to be seen as one of the “guys.” Each has unique talents: school, sports, social, physical, and musical. A couple have families with money; others have never known a “normal” family situation.

But, each one has experienced a “David moment” with someone like a brother, a Goliath or a boss. That moment when someone had looked at them with anger, frustration, jealousy, or blame for reasons that they could not control, could not have predicted. And, for just a few moments, I could see a brotherhood form around the table. Oh, the age and experience differences are too great to keep them together for long; they will be going their own ways.

But, the truth of David’s story touched their hearts and joined them together for our class session. Each looked at the others knowing that that tough times, even when they are winning the battle, will come. But, God will always be there for us. He will not remove those who would cause us harm, but he will be by our side and guide our every step.

As I prayed for the group ending the session, tears filled my eyes. (I didn’t let them see me crying – I’m such a girl!) And, I prayed that in this little community of faith they will not only stand with God but also stand with each other. It was a reminder of our need to gather together

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