Tag Archives: Incandescent light bulb

Here’s an Idea! Blessing of the Backpacks 2013

IMG_9864for Sunday, August 18, 2013
Blessing of the Backpacks 2013
20th Sunday in Ordinary Time
13th Sunday after Pentecost
Proper 15
Year C
lectionary focus: Hebrews 11:29-12:2
prop: incandescent lightbulb (carefully) nestled in your backpack

There is no expedient to which a man will not go to avoid the labor of thinking.
~Sir Joshua Reynolds

(Edison’s favorite quote around his laboratory.)

Good morning! We are getting ready for a new school year and we all have our backpacks today! For this service last year, I had a cabbage in my backpack. I wonder what I have this year? Here’s an idea:

This is a lightbulb. This is not something that you will find in anybody’s backpack, but you will see lots of them in schools. And in school, you will learn that Thomas Edison invented the lightbulb. Some people say that it is the most important invention because without it we’d be in the dark. But the thing is, Thomas Edison did NOT invent the lightbulb. No, in fact there is a whole list of guys who made lightbulbs long before Mr. Edison did. Thomas Edison was the scientist who made the lightbulb practical and easily available for everybody. This kind of lightbulb works by running electricity through the wire inside which then glows, shining light. But the early guys used wires inside that were very expensive, hard to find, or only glowed for a few minutes. Candles were much better than those bulbs. Mr. Edison, though, thought there had to be a way to make a lightbulb work easily. So he began experimenting, trying to find the right wire to use inside. Mr. Edison tried over 6,000 types of wires before he found the right one.* That’s a lot of wires! (Side note: You’d have to eat 30 Oreos every school day for a school whole year to eat 6,000 Oreos!) Mr. Edison had what we call perseverance. He moved forward in his work with persistence. This means that even though it was hard work, he stuck to it.

In our Bible story today, we are reminded that life is about sticking to it. We are called to be persistent, to live our lives with perseverance, to keep working even when things get hard. And these are good words for us to hear right now before we start school. Oh, sure, school is fun and all of that, but there will be times, there are times, that school is hard. Sometimes, we would much rather do anything than think! But just like inventing a lightbulb is one experiment at a time, learning is one thought at a time. Think and then think some more…and soon you will want to think even more! And then you will have a mind full of bright, shining lightbulbs!

Today we prepare to start school and we ask God to be with us as we learn. We ask God to be with us as we think. We ask God to stick with us as we stick with learning. We ask God to light our paths and guide our feet that we may run the race to learning with perseverance.

When we say our prayer today, I will say a line and use some hand motions and I’d like for you to repeat the line using the same motions. Will you pray with me?

Dear Lord,
As I hold my backpack, (hold your backpack)
Lord, keep me learning.
As I hold my head, (hold your head)
Lord, keep me learning.
As I hold my feet, (hold your feet)
Lord, keep me learning.
As I hold my heart, (hands over your heart)
Lord, keep me learning.
Guide my feet, (hands on feet)
Guide my heart, (hands on heart)
Guide my mind. (hands on head)
Bless me (folded hands for the remainder of prayer)
through this school year
that I may persevere
in my race to learn.

And now we will sing with Miss Amanda “Guide My Feet While I Run this Race.”

We are not Christians alone.
My mission is to share, inspire, and encourage.
Happy New School Year!

* information source


The Light of the World

IMG_9868for Sunday, January 6, 2013
Epiphany of the Lord
Year C
lectionary focus: Matthew 2:1-12
prop: an assortment of light bulbs
inspiration: Mudhouse Sabbath by  Lauren F. Winner (Paraclete Press, 2003) “hadlakat nerot / candle-lighting”

Today I brought some light bulbs. (Talk about whatever kind of light bulbs you bring and the amazing way this source of light works.) Now this kind of light from a bulb in a lamp has been around for less than 150 years. Before electric lights, people used gas lights and lanterns and torches and candles and oil lamps or…they just went to bed when the sun went down and it got dark. Without light, we cannot see our way in the world.

Today we celebrate Epiphany and we read the Bible story of the Wise Men meeting Baby Jesus. We note the importance of the shining star…“And there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen…until it stopped over the place where the child was.” The light of the star led the Wise Men to Jesus.

We are thankful for the star that led the Wise Men. We are thankful for these lights here in church. Whether it be starlight or light bulbs, the Sun or candles, throughout time, we have known the importance of light: light helps us see our way in the world.

And because we know the importance of light, we call Jesus the Light of the World. With Jesus, we can see our way in the world.

And by carrying Jesus in our hearts, we are not only able to see our way, but we are able to see each other and therein, we are able to help each other.

This focus on light is a good reminder to us right now. In winter, the days are shorter and darker. It’s January…Christmas is over; the presents are all opened; the food is all eaten; our families have gone home; the decorations are put away; we are back in school. But though the Advent candles are no more, we always have the Light of Jesus to help us see our way in the world and to help us see each other.

Will you pray with me? (This is an echo prayer: the leader says a line and the children repeat it.)

Dear Lord,
Thank You
for light bulbs.
Thank You
for Jesus,
the Light of the World.
Help us
to see our way in the world
and to see each other.

We are not Christians alone.
My mission is to share, inspire, and encourage.