The only blessing I remember getting as a kid came after I sneezed.
Not so, in the Episcopal church.
They’ve got blessings and sprinklings to spare.
I like that.
Today was the annual Blessing of the Backpacks.
I feel a little like a kid at Christmas when this rolls around, even without a backpack.
Who can’t use a blessing?!
Today’s came with a handout, a luggage tag for a backpack with this prayer:
“O God, bless this bag and the one who carries it. May you strengthen us for the work ahead, give us confidence and inquisitiveness in learning, and refresh us at play. Open our hearts that we might show care and compassion to all we meet along the way.”
Now, that’s a holy back-to-school calling.
When time to bless, Father Patrick called for students and their backpacks, then educators. Each year there are several categories. Alice and Randy Matthews sat in front of me, wondering like I, “Where do I fit?
Finally, Patrick said, “”Some of you may have thought when we sang the opening hymn, Come, Labor On,”That’s me! I’m a laborer.” I remembered, “All ye who labor and are heavy laden”(like weary pack mules), “Come!” So I headed to the front with Randy and Alice.
Maybe you identify with the lyrics that nudged me forward, “Come labor on. Away with gloomy doubts and faithless fear! No arm so weak but may do service here: by feeblest agents may our God fulfill his righteous will.”
So up to the front I went. No backpack, just me and my weakness, ready to get blessed, sprinkled and tagged for whatever’s next.
Tomorrow’s Labor Day.
And the next.
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