Elijah was glad to hear that Dad made it back to the city safely. Everyone took turns talking to him and no one mentioned anything to him about there having been any problems at school. As far as Dad knew, yesterday had been an uneventful day. As he dressed for school Elijah found himself wishing his father was still home. Not just because he missed him, but the more he had been turning the vision over in his mind, the more he felt that the Lord was preparing the Earth for the second coming of Christ. That included all the problems that would precede it.
Fortunately, this morning they would be starting to revamp the prayer group into something that Elijah hoped would help to prepare him. Between the group and the Young Prophets website, he had hope that he would make it. He wanted to get back online last night, but by the time everyone had finished talking with Dad on the phone, Gram said it was time for Becca and him to get ready and go straight to bed. He wanted to get back to check the new ‘question of the week’ about the boy in the visions, but he knew there would be more responses than he would be able to read through in the short time he would have before Gram busted him for being on the computer. He was determined that tonight he would get back and get an update.
Besides, he was doubtful that anything he would pick up about the boy in the visions would be a good topic for the first prayer group discussion, at least not the first one away. As he dressed for school he thought about the types of lessons he would like to cover. The life of Jesus would be a great place to start. Sunday school had taught him some of the basics of Jesus’ birth and dying on the cross, but what about all the stuff in between? As he thought of the prayer group Elijah realized that it was almost time to leave.
He quickly made his way downstairs and into the kitchen. Gram was ready and waiting with a warm smile and a plate of pancakes that almost made him upset. This was no time for warm smiles and breakfast, he was far too anxious to get to prayer group for these kinds of things to slow him down.
“You don’t want pancakes for breakfast?” Gram asked. “I thought you’d like them.”
“I’m too excited to eat. I want to get going,” Elijah’s voice trailed off as he saw a plate of buttered toast on the table. “Well, maybe just some toast to hold me over to lunch.”
“There’s plenty of time to get there for your meeting,” Gram reassured him. “but you won’t get very far on an empty stomach.”
“Yeah, but I’d still like to get there a little early. Where’s Becca?” Elijah inquired trying not to sound as impatient as he felt.
“She left something up in her room,” replied Gram.
“Come on Becca! We’re gonna be late,” Elijah shouted anxiously.
“Give her a minute, Elijah. She’s always a little slower starting just after your dad leaves. I know his leaving is hard on you too, but it’s even harder on Becca. It’s always tougher for a daughter to see her father have to go away for a long time. From the moment she was born, she’s been daddy’s little girl. But priorities had to change when your mom got sick, of course; even more after she passed. Becca’s always strong on the outside, but inside she’s hurting something terrible.”
“Sorry, Gram,” Elijah said feeling selfish for his lack of consideration. “I wasn’t thinking.”
“Just try going a little easy on her today,” Gram implored. “And let’s try making it through the day without causing a big stir! Becca’s not going to be waiting with you this afternoon. She asked if she could go to her friend Marty’s house to study after school and sleep over night. I thought it would be good for her.”
“I’ll be fine, Gram,” Elijah’s smirked. “Like I’ve said before, I like to lay low.”
Becca’s slow start had them running later than Elijah had hoped, although he didn’t say anything else to her about being late. They entered the music room with only a minute or two to spare. They sat down in the same seats they had the previous morning. That, coupled with the now familiar hazy glow of the early morning sun and thick smell of brass, actually helped put Elijah at ease.
Jonathan was talking to the boys that were sitting across from them. He had noticed them as soon as they had come in the room and shot them a relieved smile. Looking up at the clock at the back of the room, he stood up and walked to the flimsy looking black music stand at the front of the class. Mr. Ashford, the music teacher, was a very tall man and Jonathan had to lower the makeshift podium. It wobbled so much Elijah thought the top was going to snap off.
Elijah could feel the excitement building inside him. He had been anticipating this meeting since the moment Jonathan mentioned adding a lesson during the previous morning’s meeting. The only thing missing now was Ben. Elijah took a quick glance around towards the door, but didn’t really expect to see him. He would see Ben in science class and would try again to get him to come tomorrow morning.
“Good morning, everyone,” Jonathan welcomed. “As I said yesterday I would like to use this morning to discuss adding a lesson to the meeting. Perhaps not a lesson per se, but at least a discussion. We don’t have enough time to have a full-blown sermon and none of us have the time on top of schoolwork to prepare a lesson every morning. What I was thinking we could do is have a new topic of discussion every Monday. The person who’s idea the topic was would say a few words about it then we could continue to focus on the topic throughout the rest of the week. So, what’s everyone think?”
Elijah thought of the question of the week for the Young Prophets website. The same idea should work here just as well. As he looked around the room everyone else seemed to agree.
“Everyone is welcome to share ideas on things they’d like to talk about,” Jonathan continued. “But first I’d like to issue a challenge. I’ve thought a great deal this year, even more so after the visions that I want to be more like Jesus. I want to be more ‘Christ-like’ in the things I do and say. Jesus once issued the charge to ‘Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.’ I believe that Jesus really meant what He said, not just as a lofty goal that can’t be achieved, but as a goal, that with time and effort, can be obtained.”
There was silence over the group as everyone listened to Jonathan speak. If public speaking was a trait that could be passed down from one generation to the next, Pastor Mike had passed it on to Jonathan. As he spoke, everyone listened.
“We’ve all seen the bumper stickers and heard people say WWJD, what would Jesus do. I want us to have discussions that aren’t going to just have us asking ourselves what would Jesus do if He were faced with this situation or that, but I want to talk about what Jesus did do and how to apply it to our daily lives. These are the last days; sin and temptation surround us everywhere we go, shows up everywhere we look, and is in everything we hear. We need to be better at doing what Jesus would do.”
Several of the students gave loud amens.
“It is now Tuesday. We only have about five minutes until the bells start ringing. Start thinking about ideas for topics and we’ll discuss them tomorrow morning. For this morning let’s keep things business as usual. Does anyone have anything they’d like to say or to share their feelings?”
Several of the other kids said they liked Jonathan’s idea. After the first bell rang Jonathan asked for a volunteer to say the prayer. Elijah thought of things he’d like to discuss with the group. As the prayer ended he and Becca gathered their things and moved toward the door. Elijah looked for Jonathan who was trailing close behind.
“Hey! I was starting to think you guys might not make it this morning,” Jonathan remarked.
“Who, us? Wouldn’t miss it,” replied Elijah. “We were just running late as usual.”
“Good morning, Rebecca,” Jonathan added turning towards her.
Since her brother’s vision, Becca had felt invisible at times. She understood why Elijah was the focus of attention, but it was nice to have someone acknowledge her directly from time to time. “Good morning, Jonathan.”
“So what do you think about having discussions during group?” Jonathan asked.
“Sounds good to me. There’s a website I’ve been going to that has a similar ‘question of the week’ forum. Should be cool,” replied Elijah.
“How about you, Rebecca? What do you think?” Jonathan inquired.
This caused Becca to blush just slightly. A “good morning” AND interest in her opinion. “Oh, it sounds fine to me. And please, just Becca.”
As they approached the intersection at the end of the music wing they slowed their pace.
“After the events of, like, yesterday morning I obviously can’t trust you two. I better escort you all the way to your rooms,” Becca chided.
Elijah and Jonathan chuckled for a moment.
“I’ll be extra careful around the corners this time, Sis,” said Elijah.
“Don’t worry Becca! I’ll take much better care of him this morning,” Jonathan piped in.
“I suppose I’ll give you one more chance,” she grinned. “But any trouble today and I’ll have to be your full-time baby sitter.”
With that they went their separate ways. Elijah and Jonathan made it all the way to homeroom without incident. They jokingly bragged about their ability to safely navigate the hallways. As the final bell rang, Elijah jogged down the hall to his classroom and shouted back, “See ya in Science class.”
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