Some of us gathered here today find the following wisdom far too true:
Eccl. 12:12 Of anything beyond these, my child, beware. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh.
Others of us are excited for another year of studies the way Ezra set his heart to the study of the law:
Ezra 7:10 For Ezra had set his heart to study the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach the statutes and ordinances in Israel.
In our weariness and in our excitement, for those of us beyond school age years and those of us just beginning, for all those who prepare for another school year, let us abide by these words especially:
Deut. 6:4-9 Hear, O Israel: The LORD is our God, the LORD alone.
You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.
Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart.
Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise.
Bind them as a sign on your hand, fix them as an emblem on your forehead, [iron them or clip them to your backpacks, write them on the covers of your binder], [or] write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
Now raise your hands, palms up, towards the ceiling, and praying with me:
Almighty God, fountain of all wisdom,
You have blessed us with the joy
and care of children: give us and teachers
everywhere calm strength and patient
wisdom to bring them up, teaching them
to love whatever is just and true and good.
Now turn your hands down and hold them over your bags or backpacks. Congregation, raise your hands to bestow a blessing on the children gathered here:
Bless now these backpacks and the children
who carry them: That with hearts enlightened
by your Holy Spirit they may grow in knowledge
and piety, to worship and serve you
from generation to generation
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.