John’s Surprise Oral Exam

If John had been the least bit nervous, I couldn’t tell it. This was about the fourth time he stood before the Sunday School class to present a video series about Martin Luther. If you didn’t know, October of this year marks the 500th year since Luther nailed his 95 theses on the door of the church in Germany. Each week John has presented background history to the class while young Adam set up the DVD at the front of the church. If Adam hits a snag, as he did this time, John keeps talking until the video is ready. That in itself would be unnerving, but it doesn’t seem to bother John.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the dignitary come in. He had preached at the early service and sat through John’s class before preaching at the late service. It was Dr. Dale Meyer, former Lutheran Hour Speaker (aired nationally) and now president of Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, the main seminary of the Missouri Synod Lutheran Church. John handled it with aplomb. As our class dispersed, I saw Adam hand Dr. Meyer the disk. He had gone forward to speak to John and mentioned that the Synod and the seminary had done videos, but this was one he hadn’t seen. John told the man they had met at a nursing home he was involved with in Brooklyn, mentioning people they knew in common. Dr. Meyer remembered having been there.

On the way home, I asked, “Were you nervous when Dr. Meyer came in? If so, you didn’t show it.”

John told the story from his view. He said, “Before we began to set up, Dot [an enthusiastic member of the class] told me she had chatted with him after the early service. She said her class had the most marvelous video and a wonderful leader to explain things, and he should come to our class. So, I had advance notice that he was coming. That was a lot to live up to.”