for Sunday, August 19, 2012
Blessing of the Backpacks
12th Sunday after Pentecost
20th Sunday in Ordinary Time
lectionary focus: Psalm 111
prop: backpacks all around!
“Curiosity is what separates us from the cabbages. It’s accelerative. The more we know, the more we want to know.” ― David McCullough
Today I have a cabbage.
Cabbages are green leafy vegetables. They grow all summer long, above the ground, in a mild climate with a good amount of rain. In the fall they are nice and fat and ready to be harvested. People eat cabbage raw in cole slaw, or they cook it in soups or as a side dish…some people think it smells bad then. It looks kind of like lettuce though the leaves are thicker and feel almost waxy. But I have a cabbage with me today not because those things are important. In fact, I’m pretty sure you have been only half listening to these cabbage facts. And in fact, I’m pretty sure you’ve been sitting here wondering:
WHY DOES SHE HAVE A CABBAGE?
And you are right. That is exactly why I have a cabbage.
Yes. I have a cabbage today so that you will wonder why I have a cabbage.
There is an author named David McCullough who believes that the most important difference between cabbages and us is the fact that we wonder why. Cabbages don’t wonder about anything. We, though, are curious about the world around us. We wonder why this and we wonder why that. And when we are curious about one mystery, that usually leads us to ask questions about another mystery. And when we ask the questions of who, what, when, where, how, and why, we seek answers; and when we seek answers, we grow in awe of God’s amazing and mysterious world.
Our Bible story today has a perfect verse for this. In Psalm 111, we hear the words: The awe of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom. We are told that being curious, that wondering about the world’s mysteries, that asking questions, that being amazed by God, that being in awe of the Lord…is the beginning of wisdom.
This Sunday we prepare for the beginning of a new school year by lifting up our curiosity about God’s world and asking God to be with us on our journey to wisdom. With a new school year, we have many mysteries to wonder: I wonder who will be in your classes and who will be your new friends; I wonder what great books you will discover; I wonder what exciting things will happen; I wonder what questions will be answered. Each morning, you will get up, and grab your backpack, and go to school, and wonder about things, and ask questions, and learn something new. And because God made you to be curious, you are exactly what God made you to be: a wonder-filled part of God’s amazing world, made to enjoy God and all of the world’s mysteries. You are more than a cabbage – you are a child of God!
Will you pray with me? (This is an echo prayer: the leader says a line and the children repeat it back.)
Be with me
as I wonder,
as I ask questions,
as I seek answers,
as I am amazed
that I might be
eager to learn more
and be full of wisdom
about Your wonder-filled world.
We are not Christians alone.
My mission is to share, inspire, and encourage.