Blessing of the Backpacks 2011

9th Sunday after Pentecost RCL Year A
20th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Proper 15
for Sunday, August 14, 2011
lectionary focus: Matthew 10: 15-20

(Note: You don’t have to have a special service for blessing backpacks to use this sermon, but for our church, this is an annual event where we invite the children to bring their backpacks with them to the chancel steps. Parents bring diaper bags and brief cases, too! Everyone gets into the back-to-school excitement.)

Welcome! Today is a special celebration that we call the Blessing of the Backpacks. Many of us are starting a new school year and today we call on God to be with us throughout our learning. We have spent the last few days of summer doing our reading assignments; finding out our teachers’s names and who is in our classes; maybe getting a new outfit or new shoes.  And we’ve done our back-to-school shopping to load our backpacks with supplies: pens, markers, crayons, pencils, erasers, glue, notebooks, paper–all sorts of tools that we might use in class. Now we have all of the things we need for an excellent school year.
We are ready to learn!

But you know, having a backpack full of tools is not what will make this a good school year; these things will not make us a good student. We are good students when our hearts and minds are packed and ready. Ready to ask questions, to try, to share, to explore. It is when we have packed the right attitude in our hearts that we are ready to learn!

In our Bible story today, Jesus is teaching. He is teaching the disciples that it is not the things they have that are important; there are no right things that make them special. Jesus teaches that it is the feelings and thoughts they have in their hearts that matter. Jesus says when love and kindness and sharing come out of our hearts, we are doing good work as God’s children.

Yes, today is called the Blessing of the Backpacks, but we are not asking God to fill our backpacks with special powers; we are asking God fill our hearts so that during the school year we are ready to share His special love to all those around us. Each morning as you are getting your backpack ready, remember also to get your heart ready and to fill it with the important tools of God’s love and kindness.

With our prayer today, I will say a part and when I raise my hands, you do the same and say, Lord, fill my heart.

Let’s us pray:

Heavenly Father, You provide for all our needs with backpacks full of books and pencils and lunches.

Lord, fill my heart.

You guide us on our journey leading us to learn and grow.

Lord, fill my heart.

You love us always no matter what.

Lord, fill my heart.

Let us share Your love at school, at work, at play, at home.

Lord, fill my heart.

And together we say, Amen.

2 responses to “Blessing of the Backpacks 2011

  1. great thoughts, thanks for posting

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