I’ve always loved this time of year. September heralds the arrival of Fall (hands down my favorite season) and it finally starts to become socially acceptable to talk about Halloween costumes again. Most importantly, as a life-long nerd and former teacher, the start of September will always bring up fond memories of back-to-school.

We held the Blessing of the Backpacks two Sundays ago. It was so heartening to see students and teachers of all ages come forward to receive a blessing. Seeing them assembled at the front of the church, I was reminded that each of us – whether we’re in school now or haven’t set foot in a classroom in decades – are constantly afforded opportunities to learn and grow. 

backpack-blessing-matt-welsch.jpg

So this Fall, I’m committing myself to learning new things – to challenging myself and reflecting on the ways God continues change and form me as a disciple.

I’ve included our backpack blessing below. As you read through it, I invite you to consider how it might apply to you whether or not you’ve gone back to school this month. 

Loving God, you made all things and have given us minds to explore, imagine, and create. In this season of new beginnings, we give you thanks for new friends, new stories, and new ideas. We thank you for the opportunity to learn about the world you have created, and to grow into the people you have called us to be.  Bless these, your children, both teachers and students, who begin or return to school this year. Give them curiosity, patience, and wisdom. Help them to be kind. Comfort them as they learn from their mistakes and encourage them to dream new worlds into being. And may their backpacks and these crosses be a reminder that you are with them always. We ask this in the name of Jesus, our Great Teacher, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.