“Train children in the way they should go; when they grow old they won’t depart from
it.” - Proverbs 22:6
The summer break from classes is almost over. Can you believe it? As such, it’s important that we respond afresh to the new school year. While we may not all be in school, we all have the chance to participate in a lifetime of education, both personally as well as communally.
One way we have the opportunity to respond is by purchasing new backpacks for the Alvarado ISD. Being the current parent of two school age children, I cannot tell you how rough kids are on their backpacks. Every day last year as they came in the door from school, we would remind our kids to hang their backpack up on the hooks by the door to try and preserve them as long as possible. But backpacks got dropped, kicked, pushed through dirt piles, and across floors. Water leaked out of their water bottles. And then there were the bananas that did not get eaten. Let’s just say they found their way into a mushy pile at the bottom of the bag that often wasn’t noticed until it was too late. Despite our best efforts, we went through two backpacks a year. We probably could have stood for another replacement for each child beyond that!
My kids have been part of a home with continuity every day. But many of the schoolchildren in our community are on the move, shuttled between parents and other family members and between homes that may only be available for a month or two at a time. So keeping track of a backpack is less important than where their next meal comes from or where they are sleeping for the night. Please consider this as we finish out this backpack drive and give generously.
Another way we will respond to the new school year will be next Sunday as we have a Blessing of the Backpacks as part to our worship service. In addition to laying our donated backpacks up front, kids from our church, our families, and our community are encouraged to come as we pray over them. This is a a great way to lift up our school year in prayer. There are so many concerns for our children and the education they receive. We want to be able to lift up their learning environments, their teachers and staff, and especially their safety.
Third, we will be starting a sermon series on several Old Testament stories called Back to School. These are accounts of some of the most beloved stories from when many of us were kids, stories like David and Goliath and Daniel in the Lion’s Den. I suspect as I preach on these that there will be parts we will hear that we had forgotten about. They are texts that cover a variety of situations, including bravery and courage to be sure. The scriptures also speak to and about defiance, depression, and loss of loved ones, among other subject matter. We get the chance to encounter them anew during the month of August as we go back to school. I hope you are as excited about this opportunity as I am!
Grace and peace Pastor Don