The Blessing of Backpacks, Sunday August 21

The other day the boys and I pulled weeds together in our flowerbed.  We had a deal: for every minute they finished in under an hour, they would receive three bonus minutes of game time!  In the end they worked 50 minutes (ten minutes early=30 extra minutes of games).   As we worked, the boys were actually pretty excited about it—and not just for the games!  It was good exercise, there was shade, and after an hour the flowerbed looked great!  After working and sweating a while, I reminded them that many folk do this sort of work all day, every day, for very little money.  I said, “This is why I am always excited about the start of a new school year.  Education is the best chance to get a great job.”

It did not help them feel better about the start of school—August 22—and my response wasn’t 100% accurate.  I am also excited to start school because they’ve been out for ten weeks!  Back to routines!  Back to alarm clocks!  Back to homework!  And with school starting that means summer will end soon and we’ll get some relief from the heat!  Can a brother get an AMEN?

On August 21 we’ll devote a part of our service to pray over and bless children and teachers as a new school year begins.  I know my advocacy for an end to summer will not sit well with teachers, but come on.  Enough is enough!  Let’s get on with a new year!  Now aren’t you excited too? (crickets chirping…)  Anyway, we want to encourage all of our children to bring their backpacks to worship at the 11:00 service.  They’ll bring them forward and we will pray over them.  We’ll give each Oak Lawn kid a tag for his/her backpack to remind them that God watches over them all year long.  Then we’ll invite teachers to come forward for a special time of prayer.  They’ll need to remember God’s blessing for them too.  Because it’s back to school time—or have you not heard?  Ha!

Seriously, I am always grateful for teachers.  Some of you know that before going to seminary I taught 8th grade US History.  It was awful.  Not the kids, they were great—but the parents, administrators, politics, oy.  It was horrible.  I am always thankful to God for calling me to work elsewhere, and I appreciate the difficult work our faithful teachers offer our kids.  They deserve our respect and trust.   And our prayers.  So join me next Sunday, August 21 as we pray for our children, bless their backpacks, as well as honor our teachers as a new school year begins.  The best year ever!