I can’t get over this image.
This past Sunday at Table of Grace we had a “blessing of the backpacks.” I invited teachers, school administrators, crossing guards, cafeteria workers, and everyone else involved in our school systems to come forward to be commissioned into this new school year. As they gathered on the stage, I invited the children to surround them on the floor level.
I then asked those who were comfortable doing so to extend a hand of blessing toward the stage as I prayed over the school employees. Within our context, this act isn’t something that is practiced often, so it stands outside the comfort zone of many of our church members.
When I saw this picture after the service, I was humbled.
At the bottom of the photo is a child, with her hand in the air, actively participating in the blessing of these school employees in a physical way that was visible to those around her.
My sermon on Sunday was about Apollos, from Acts 18, and the lessons that we can glean from his example of humility. If you recall, Apollos humbly receives instruction from Priscilla and Aquila, immediately after preaching in the synagogue “with great fervor.”
What was inspiring about Apollos was his willingness to be corrected when he thought he was preaching correctly. He didn’t question Priscilla’s teaching; he took it to heart and changed his message to include the truth of Jesus Christ about which she told him.
Humility opened Apollos to instruction.
When I saw this image of this little hand in the air, blessing her teachers and school employees, I couldn’t help but think of the humility that was being displayed.
What would it look like for adults to bless those who are placed in authority over us?
What would it look like for us to humbly open ourselves to instruction on a daily basis?
How might we extend our hand in faith as we pray for those who lead us—whether we agree with them all of the time, or rarely?
Grant me the grace to be humble, even when I think I’m right,
The openness to daily instruction, even when it stretches me,
The faith to pray for those who lead me, even when I disagree,
And the courage to participate boldly, even when my hand stands alone.