September 1 is traditionally the first day of school across the former Soviet Union. They call it “first bell.”
I don’t think they actually have class that day. It is filled with pomp and circumstance (I’m using this phrase to see if my friend Max can figure it out…).
The Baptist churches in the fSU have a tradition as well. Usually the Sunday before the “first bell”, they have a special recognition of the children and college students. Then the pastor and deacons pray over the children and youth and pray God’s blessings over them.
This morning, I attended Bethlehem Star church and they had all the children sit at the front of the church. At the end of the service, they prayed over all the children and youth.
They gave each of them a pen with a verse written on it and a small card. For those going into the first grade they had a special gift bag with a book, calendar and other things for them.
I remember when I attended school and how exciting it was to start school on a high. Of course, at that point, all of my grades were 100 (at least until the first test!!!). Those were the days.
It was a blessing for me to witness the church praying God’s blessings over the young people. It truly has been a Sunday blessing.