My friend Rev. Teresa Welborn, superintendent of the Capital District of the UMC, wrote a great column this week about this back-to-school season.  She’d attended a campus ministry board meeting and upon leaving had to navigate her way through dozens of U-Haul trailers and college folk unpacking their belongings on the UT campus.  Then she headed out to buy school supplies for her young daughter’s new school year.  Here’s what she observed:  “Though I’m not beginning school as a student or teacher, at each summer’s end I sense God extending to me an invitation to begin anew. …we can (all) reconsider priorities and even dream a little about all that we can learn and experience in the months ahead.”  Then she cited this beautiful prayer from a book of daily devotions by Diana Macalintal called “Give us This Day.”

A Prayer of Blessing for Teachers and Students

“Eternal God, your wisdom is beyond our understanding.  Yet it is revealed to us in the life and love of Jesus, your Son.  Bless students and teachers as they begin anew.  May they, like Jesus, grow in wisdom, age, and grace.  Enlighten them with your Word and fill them with your Spirit that they may follow the path that leads to your wisdom.  Bless teachers with compassion and patience, joy and peace, and bless, too, all who assist them.  May students and teachers alike be charged with curiosity and courage to make this world a home where hope endures.  Open their eyes that they may see your presence each day, open their ears that they may hear your voice in unexpected places, open their minds that they may understand the mystery of your love, and open their hearts that they may grow in likeness to the mind and heart of Christ.  Grant this through Christ our Lord.  Amen.”

I think we can all employ this and other prayers, keeping in mind all the students and educators in our families and our world.  I also believe God calls each and every one of us to continue to grow in grace and knowledge of God’s love and wisdom.  My prayer for us is that we, too, will be “charged with curiosity and  courage to make this world a home where hope endures,”  awake to holy beauty, holy possibility, holy life within and around us, every day.