Tomorrow at church we'll be asking God to bless backpacks . Why do that? What's the big deal about a blessing?
A blessing is not magic. It is not even a "mystery." To bless something simply means to set it apart. When we ask God to bless a backpack, we are asking him to set that backpack apart. We are asking that in some way the backpack will remind the student who wears it of God's presence with them. To that end, we also have a little tag students can attach to their backpack reminding them that God is with them.
But why is that important?
I am sure you are aware that our children live in an anxiety drenched world. Though some kids show it more than others, no children are free from anxiety. The big question--one of the biggest questions of all, in fact--is "How will we help our kids learn to navigate that anxiety?"
This is one way. Just the other day my 21 year old daughter asked me, "Do you believe God is looking after me?" Though some who read this blog would answer differently, I could say quite honestly, "I do."
That's why we bless backpacks. It's a tough world our kids are growing up in. This gives them a "frame", a "context", in which they come to know they are part of something larger than themselves. It gives them one more assurance that things are going to be all right.