August 29, 2023 – A Blessing for Back to School

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This is a big and busy week for the many who are heading back to school. But even if we’re not beginning a new chapter in our formal education, there is much to receive from this blessing from Sarah Bessey. As I get my little ones out the door, here also is my prayer (Bessey’s words, adapted) for all of us, learners and seekers of all ages. Perhaps you’ll select a line or two to guide through the coming season.

May you go into this day, this month, this season, fully convinced of your capacity, and on a path to flourishing.

May your roots go down deep into God’s soil so you will bear the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. 

May you remember your people, where you come from, and find your place of belonging. 

May you become even more fully who you were always meant to be.

May you sow seeds of life and hope wherever you find yourself, cultivating a harvest of shalom.

May you be prepared for every good work that lies ahead of you. 

May your mind be clear and engaged, your memory sharp, your wisdom beyond your years. May you ask for what you need without fear or shame.

May you be safe from anything that seeks to steal, kill, or destroy in any measure. When you are afraid, may you feel God’s love wrapped around you and take heart.

When disappointments or disasters come—and they will—may you find depths of resilience and rise again and again. 

May you do what is right and good and kind and just, no matter what everyone else might do. Don’t submerge your true self into the dreams, plans, behaviors, or agendas of others. Bring your full beloved self to these days, knowing you are created in the image of God.

May you be a blessing to those you journey with, and we pray that they, in turn, would see and affirm you in the fullness God has created. 

May you find good friendships that will sharpen and delight you. 

May you have eyes to see the lonely ones. May you have many opportunities to practice being both brave and kind. 

Beloved child of God, go forth in the power and peace of Love itself, prepared and anointed, knowing you walk upon steady ground.

In the name of the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit, one God and Mother of us all. Amen.

Pastor Jen