My congregation in the heart of Chicago just celebrated a very successful school backpack giveaway event. My team ran the prayer station, where kids could select small crosses to attach to their backpacks and receive a blessing of the backpack in either in Spanish or English.
As an object in our prayerful moments, a candle serves as a symbol of God’s presence and providence. For a child, this object is their backpack. We pray that it might carry more than books and lunches; we pray that it might carry God’s guidance and protection, that it might be a reminder of the faith, hope and love of God’s people. We pray that it might be a gift that inspires learning, growth, wellbeing.
The blessing of the …
Here at Sparkhouse, we frequently hear our customers call the kick off to their fall ministry rally day. You might call it something different! Either way, what would be the rally day equivalent of the blessing of the backpack? What would be our object that serves as a symbol for a successful year of sparking faith in our communities? Actually, we think there are a few different objects that fit into our rally day blessings for the upcoming year.
Sunday school supply space
Dear Lord, bless this Sunday school supply space. Out of it flows markers and paper, scissors and supplies. It represents the generosity of your people in its abundance and the challenge of this ministry in its lack.
Bless it so that it may be like the widow’s jar of oil and sack of flour.
May it always flow with the resources and ideas and creativity that inspires both fun and faith in our kids. May it never be too messy, or even too clean, to be of any use! May it a busy, active, place of that inspires wonderment and engagement.
Your copy machine
Dear Lord, bless this printer. We already know it’s going to jam or run out of toner at the absolutely wrong time … wrong, wrong, WRONG time!
In my desire to replicate Christ followers, may my spirit of joy never be stolen by this machine. It may test me, but I pray that it will not break my resolve to serve you.
When it’s working great – move me to thanksgiving. When I’m reaching into its rollers to extract a jam – move me to thanksgiving. May it move me to go as the Spirit leads, even if it’s with crumpled copies.
The parking lot
Dear Lord, bless these parking spaces. We ask you to fill them. But, more than that we ask that the families who use them might arrive eager to learn and leave eager to apply Your Word.
Grant safety in our families’ journeys to church. Use moments in the car to bring our families closer together and closer to You. Please still the traffic of their lives, so that this space might be more than just a space for a vehicle. May it be a space for You, God.
Dear Lord, bless everyone in our community who are concerned about the wellbeing of our children. Help our community collaborate effectively for the holistic good of our kids.
Rather than being despondent about soccer games, homework, and things that seem to erode our efforts, move us to impassioned service for the sake of the Gospel.
Move our community to champion the wellness of the whole child – body, mind and spirit. May our church schools be blessed and celebrated as well for all the good that we do in Jesus’ name!
More rally day blessings?
Let’s have some more fun with this! What other items, spaces, or people might we bless for rally day? Please suggest some in the comments or let us know on social media. Do a little devotional writing of your own. Be creative. Be clever. Share your gifts to bless others!
Download a copy of our rally day blessings and devotions!