Monday, August 22, 2011

School Year Blessing

(For a couple years now, we have been doing a Blessing of the Backpacks the Sunday before school starts.)

We are a church that believes in blessing. God blessed Abraham so he and his descendants could in turn be a blessing to all nations. God blessed Solomon, one of Abraham's descendants, with wisdom. God sent his son, Jesus Christ, as his Living Word, the embodiment of his wisdom and love, to bless the whole world through his teachings and through his life, death and resurrection. Jesus sent his disciples, his students, to go into the whole world and make others into students of his. And now we ask all students to come forward, bring your backpacks in you have them, and we will ask God’s blessing upon them and upon you.

Lord God, whose Son was a teacher and whose students wrote down his words and works for our benefit, we ask your blessing upon these backpacks and upon the students who carry them. Fill them both with the knowledge of your creation. And fill these students with the wisdom to understand and use that knowledge for good. May they learn not only facts but values as well. May they learn not only by hearing and reading but by doing.

Lord, give them good teachers who will not only provide them with knowledge but lead them to love learning and discover how to keep learning all their lives.

Lord, give them good friends who will teach them the joys of companionship, the strength of having faithful friends and the value of being a good friend to others.

Lord, give them good experiences that will teach them their strengths and their weaknesses and give them the tools to work on each.

Lord, give them the support and example of loving and wise parents, who show them the benefits of discipline and hard work, of study and the mastery of skills.

Lord, give them the resources of your church that they might learn of your Son, your love, your wisdom and your goodness through words, songs, activities and the life of a community of people following Jesus. May they learn what is right and what is wrong and how to tell the deference.

Bless them in the name of your Son our Savior, Jesus Christ, and through the power of your Holy Spirit, who live and reign with you, Father, one God, forever and ever. AMEN.

Take your back packs and your gifts.

If the teachers will now come forward.

Lord God, whose Son invested most of his ministry in teaching others, we ask your blessing on those who have been called to teach.

Lord, give them good minds to absorb and understand what they need to impart.

Lord, give them the words they need in every instance, whether to break down a complicated subject into easier to grasp parts, or to encourage and inspire their students to achieve more than they thought possible.

Lord, give them understanding hearts that they may discern any impediments that any given child has to learning and help them overcome it, or know who or what program can give them what they need.

Lord, give them plenty of time to rest and replenish themselves so they have the energy and resources they need to tackle the tasks you have set them.

Lord, give them the support of family, friends and fellow followers of Jesus, so they may know that they are much admired and not alone in their endeavors.

Lord, let them see at least the first fruits of their labor, children excited about learning and showing increasing mastery of their subjects, so that they may know that what they do is just as real and vital as any material thing anyone ever crafted. And they are shaping the future by shaping generations with their work.

Bless them in the name of your Son our Savior, Jesus Christ, and through the power of your Holy Spirit, who live and reign with you, Father, one God, forever and ever. AMEN.

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