Yup, that’s my son on stage in the worship center at Christ Community Church two weeks ago. Yup, those are my shoes he borrowed that morning. Silas is 17 years old with a very grown-up mind and some awesome gifts for teaching and communicating. His high school pastor Brad Mock invited him to team teach the message with him on Student Takeover Sunday. If you want to catch the whole message you can find it here at this link.
Brad and Silas taught through that passage from Luke about when Jesus got separated for a couple of days from his family while traveling back from Jerusalem. What do we stand to learn from a young Jesus growing up in a family at a moment when his gifts and calling take him beyond his home? Silas had some great insights for parents and teens. Parents have to let go and trust that their kids will be ok when it comes time to grow up.
It was quite a joy watching Silas from the balcony where Cheryl and I were perched. Yup, that’s our Silas. Unbelievable. He’s really growing. We loved watching so many aspects of his personality come out in his speaking. He looks totally at home in front of a crowd. Enjoys humor, even if at Brad’s expense. He did a great job recreating some of the parental angst Mary and Joseph must have felt when they lost Jesus. “They didn’t lose just any little kid. They lost Jesus. You know, the Messiah! Could you imagine what they might have prayed in their desperation to find him?” … “And have you ever wondered why Jesus wasn’t all that concerned about their understandable frustration?”
Recently I asked Silas if he would help me with my library. I’ve been finishing some space in my basement in an attempt to retrieve my truck-load of books from the garage. He unboxed one half of my collection with his broken arm and arranged them on my newly installed shelves. He noticed my copy of God is Not Great by Christopher Hitchens (among the rest of my books on atheism). “Dad I saw a kid at school with that book. Who is Christopher Hitchens?” We’ve had the best conversations lately when I pick Silas up from school. He’s really leaning into some great questions and wanting deeper than ever answers. Among his many friends Silas seems to be having a lot of discussions on tough questions. Here was today’s: Why didn’t God outlaw all forms of slavery in the Old Testament instead of just regulating it with rules?
For Silas these aren’t just his friends’ questions. He sees an opportunity to learn things he’s been curious about but hasn’t till now been able to delve into. 3:14 to 3:40 in the afternoon is becoming my favorite part of the day! Usually we’re still buzzing once we come in from the driveway. Silas is not only borrowing my shoes, he’ll have no problem filling my shoes as a teacher-evangelist. Go Silas!