Labor Day: Celebrating the Value of Work and Worker
Labor Day celebrates American workers and the work they do. It was first established in 1882, and in 1894 President Glover Cleveland made it a federal holiday on the first Monday in September to honor the American labor movement and the contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of the country.
God honored work and worker long before that. Just look at these Scriptures on the importance and value of work.
God Himself was the first worker-and He is still working
By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. (Genesis 2:2)
One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts. (Psalm 145:4)
Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand. (Isaiah 64:8)
In his defense Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.” (John 5:17)
God assigned work to us
The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. (Genesis 2:15)…to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up (Ephesians 4:12)
Make the tabernacle with ten curtains of finely twisted linen and blue, purple and scarlet yarn, with cherubim woven into them by a skilled worker. (Exodus 26:1)
He has filled them with skill to do all kinds of work as engravers, designers, embroiderers in blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen, and weavers—all of them skilled workers and designers. (Exodus 35:35)
He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. (Luke 10:2)
Paul appreciated his co-workers
Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my co-workers in Christ Jesus.Greet Mary, who worked very hard for you.
Greet Urbanus, our co-worker in Christ, and my dear friend Stachys.
Greet Tryphena and Tryphosa, those women who work hard in the Lord. Greet my dear friend Persis, another woman who has worked very hard in the Lord.
Timothy, my co-worker, sends his greetings to you, as do Lucius, Jason and Sosipater, my fellow Jews.
Gaius, whose hospitality I and the whole church here enjoy, sends you his greetings. Erastus, who is the city’s director of public works, and our brother Quartus send you their greetings.
For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building. (from Romans 16)
Some warnings on work
Do not take advantage of a hired worker who is poor and needy, whether that worker is a fellow Israelite or a foreigner residing in one of your towns. (Deuteronomy 24:14)
The craving of a sluggard will be the death of him, because his hands refuse to work. (Proverbs 21:25)
Some final words on work
Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. (Exodus 20:9-10)
May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us— yes, establish the work of our hands. (Psalm 90:17)
Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:58)
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,… (Colossians 3:23)
Enjoy your Labor Day, and know that God smiles on your work and your rest.
What about you? Do you love your work?
c2016 Judy Douglass