Monday, September 1, 2008

Happy Labor Day!

A History Lesson...

Labor Day Weekend, for most of us, symbolizes the last hurrah of summer. Of course in my neck of the woods summer temps are going to be hanging on at least through the first few days of September as temps will hover in the low 90's. Believe me when I tell you, I am longing for fall.

A little history on Labor: Labor Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the first Monday in September. The holiday originated in 1882 as the Central Labor Union (of New York City) sought to create "a day off for the working citizens".

Congress made Labor Day a federal holiday in 1894. All fifty states have made Labor Day a state holiday.

Websters (online) defines labor:

1. productive activity, esp. for the sake of economic gain.
2. the body of persons engaged in such activity, esp. those working for wages.
3. this body of persons considered as a class (distinguished from management and capital).
4. physical or mental work, esp. of a hard or fatiguing kind; toil.
5. a job or task done or to be done.

–verb (used without object) 9. to perform labor; exert one's powers of body or mind; work; toil.
10. to strive, as toward a goal; work hard (often fol. by for): to labor for peace.
11. to act, behave, or function at a disadvantage (usually fol. by under): to labor under a misapprehension.
12. to be in the actual process of giving birth.
13. to roll or pitch heavily, as a ship.
–verb (used with object) 14. to develop or dwell on in excessive detail: Don't labor the point.

What does the word labor mean to you? Does the idea of "work" thrill you or does the idea bring about thoughts of disdain, contempt, loathing?

Yesterday in church our pastor gave us a sermon titled "Taking God to Work"

It was a wonderful sermon (A Godly praise to Pastor Bill) and is worthy of me posting some of the key points on this Labor Day. If you have an opportunity this week... I hope you ponder the points. There is so much more meat that could be covered, but little time to post. And, I am not sure anyone would want to read a 3 page blog post! ha ha!

#1. Work is ordained by God!

"The LORD God too the man and put him in the Garden to work it and take care of it." ~ Genesis 2:15

#2. Work is disdained because of sin

"Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all your days. So the LORD banished him from the Garden to work the ground from whence he came." ~ Genesis 3:17, 23

Work isn't cursed, the ground, the condition at work changed after the fall. Work is not the result of sin.

#3 Jesus Christ has redeemed us from the curse

"Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree." God redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to us through Jesus Christ..." ~ Galatians 3:13-14

#4 Work as a form of worship

"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men -- it is the Lord Christ you are serving. ~ Colossians 3: 23-24

God ordained work - that is refreshing isn't it! I have to admit, there are days when I need an attitude adjustment at work. To realize that my work isn't cursed. The profession in which I serve is an opportunity to worship.

God ordained work - it was not meant to be a burden. Jesus worked - he was a carpenter. He used his hands to build things. The hands of our Father got dirty when he formed us, the hands of our Savior used hammer and nails to build things. Can you imagine... Jesus building a table for you? The hands of our Savior took the nails to prepare a table for you...

Gracious Father, you lavish us with so many gifts. I thank you this day for the gift of work. The opportunity my work gives me to glorify You, to worship You to reflect You. Most days Lord, I love what I do, however, I know there are days that I fall short. I grumble because I have to work, I am frustrated with the current market. Forgive me, restore to me a right attitude toward work. Change my heart. Lord, the workplace can be a very "worldly" place. An off color joke, aggravation toward the boss, the temptation to steal or cheat, becoming a "workaholic", becoming lazy in our work... so many ways we can dishonor You and cooperate with Satan. Forgive us Lord. You ordained work! I thank and praise you for this profession you have placed me. I thank You for the many, many Christian workers out there who dedicate themselves and their work to You! All honor, glory and blessing to You, in the wonderful, awesome, saving name of Jesus!

Enjoy your Labor Day friends... may you enjoy a day of rest as we reflect on the gift of our work!


Amy said...

Those were very good points to ponder this Labor Day weekend; thanks for sharing them with us today!

Happy Labor Day to you and your sweet husband!

God Bless,

much2ponder said...
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much2ponder said...

Kristen, Pastor Rich covered the same topic and I have to say...I was more than a little convicted about what the Lord was speaking to my heart throughout the service. Then today when I woke up it was there again. I am asking the Lord today for a fresh perspective concerning my work or service for him. The thought keeps running through my mind is, "It's now how you serve me in church that matters; it's how you serve me in your life." More on that to come when I post it in a few days. I have another post to put out before that one, but it is simmering on the back burner.

Ang baylis said...

I am SO glad I enjoy my work. Thanks for the reminder to actually think about it today! I find God brings so many wonderful people into my dental chair that I may not have met. It is a little scary in this state of Michigan. I try not to worry too much! On another note... I was due to have my son on Labor Day back in 1986. Fortunately he was born a week early! I could have been in labor on Labor Day! I will pray for all of us and in regards to our jobs!
Much love, Kristen!

p.s. I wish we could take a bike ride together on these beautiful days! :)