Alissa Bender
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God of big and small,
Of ants and elephants,
Of school lunches and church potlucks,

Put love and joy in our backpacks. Love that reminds us we can be ourselves and love that helps others to show their true selves too. Give the joy of being together and being known.

Put peace and patience in our backpacks. When we need to wait, or we need to understand someone who is different from us, help us to reach for peace & patience.

Put kindness and generosity in our backpacks. When it’s time to share or it’s time to forgive or it’s time to believe that everyone is doing the best they can, let kindness and generosity pour out of the bag.

Put gentleness and self-control in our backpacks. Sometimes we might need to be gentle with others, and sometimes we need to be gentle with ourselves. And sometimes it might help to take 3 deep breaths. We breathe in your spirit.

Put faithfulness in our backpacks. We trust that you are faithful to us, and we want to be faithful to your call to love, faithful to the way of Jesus, and faithful to the whispers of your Spirit within us.

Our backpacks are still light enough for today, God. Thank you for helping us to carry them. We pray these blessings on every person here, and especially on all our teachers and all our kids & youth and for each participant in adult Sunday school.

Bless each person with the fruit of your Spirit, God.
We pray all this in Jesus’ name. Amen.