Skip to main content

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!


Popular posts from this blog

Reflecting Upon Newtown

Note: I offered these words during the prayer section of worship Sunday, December 16.

Last Friday was a day full of surprising ministry. After I wrote my usual Friday email devotion to the church, I received a call from Byron Proutt, our missions coordinator. He and others had recently partnered with Park Cities Presbyterian on a project, and their missions director called Byron to say another ministry was unable to pick up several boxes of food for their pantry—could we use it? Of course we could! So Pastor Gregg, Mr Johnny, and I rolled out to the warehouse and hauled back 80 boxes of food. Praise God! After we unloaded it Gregg and I went to Kroger to give them a letter of appreciation for making our Thanksgiving baskets for hungry families a priority. After I dropped Gregg off at home, I turned on my radio for the first time that day and heard the reports of the shootings in Newtown, Conn. I could not believe what I heard, especially as a father of young children.

I came back to m…

The Famous Black Cat Band

This week my former high school band director, Mr Reinke, died. Mr Reinke is a legend in my hometown of Bay City. He was the leader of our Black Cat Band for many years. He was a fiery man, a perfectionist with extremely high standards. He was a gifted musician. He and I both played the trombone; one of us sounded like a goose being strangled. The other sounded like... well I can't think of a metaphor to properly describe Mr Reinke's horn. It was amazing. He would pull that thing out occasionally to show us how to properly play a part of a song and the sound was spellbinding. 
Mr Reinke was very innovative in his music selections. He had us playing the most random music, from popular stuff of the day by Michael Jackson to Also Sprach Zarathustra (popularly known as the theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey) to Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody. This song in particular was a great choice-- it's amazing, complicated; however, this was the late 1980s. The song was originally released…

a response to gideons international

last sunday prosper united methodist church welcomed representatives of the gideons to share about their ministry. how many times have you stayed in a hotel or visited someone in the hospital and found a gideons Bible there? and while no one can argue that reading the Bible is a bad thing, or that distributing Bibles to others in native languages is inherently harmful, i would like to offer some thoughts on the practices of the gideons, as they were described at church.

1. bravo to the gideons for distributing 73 million Bibles last year. however, most of the Bibles they sent were tiny new testaments with psalms. i am a Christian, and i love the words of the new testament. but those words have their foundation in the old testament, and to remove thousands of years of traditions and stories of God's powerful love and acts of salvation diminishes the power of the whole Bible. we must never forget that the old testament (or "first" testament or "hebrew Bible"…