I am sure I’m not the only one who finds it a little odd that we celebrate a day by not doing what the day honors. Yet, on the very day we are supposed to give honor to labor, or work, we take a day off.
Oh, but you say, “It’s not about the celebration of work; it’s about celebrating the worker.” Yeah, if that’s true, then why not call it Laborer Day?
Nevertheless, I don’t really think there’s 1 in a hundred who will actually do anything to celebrate labor, employment, the worker, or anything of the sort. Even though every one of us should be thanking God if we have a job, our 9-5 will be the last thing on our minds as we enjoy our time off.
A Holy Day
But what if we Christians did things differently? What if, like with Christmas and Easter, we take a pagan holiday and turn it into a Christian holy day?
Celebrating the birth of Christ is a good thing, so we read Scripture about it, sing carols, and dress up like barn animals in church plays. Easter is the highest holy day because it’s the day we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave – without which our faith would be in vain.
Why not celebrate work, labor, our jobs, with a day that focuses on the spiritual and biblical truths relating to it? Why not celebrate and proclaim the holy aspects of labor?
A Holy Thing
It may be hard to get your mind around it, but work is a good thing. As a matter of fact, even in Heaven, there will be work to do (Revelation 22:3). The reason is that God is the one who created work (Genesis 2:15), and it was meant for our good.
Some people call what they do in the workplace secular. They tend to separate what they do at their job from what they might do at church or on the mission field. However, all work is holy if we are children of God, and all of our labor should be for His glory (Ephesians 6:5-9).
“The maid who sweeps the kitchen floor is doing the will of God just as much as the monk who prays – not because she may sing a Christian hymn while she sweeps, but because God loves clean floors. The Christian shoemaker does his Christian duty not by putting little crosses on the shoes, but by making good shoes, because God is interested in good craftsmanship.” – Martin Luther
It may sound a little odd, but God is still at work, today. Yes, He rested on the seventh day after Creation, but He’s been at work in the hearts of men and women ever since. And what’s awesome is that for some reason He has chosen us to have a part in His work – not in the saving part, but in the gathering.
Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is abundant, but the workers are few. “Therefore, pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest.” – Matthew 9:37-38 CSB
No matter what kind of work you do, you work for the Lord. No matter where you labor, you are in the fields for the Lord. And, no matter what kind of product you produce or service you provide, if Jesus is with you, the ultimate aim is to collect the produce of heaven – the souls of men.
It may be on the kitchen floor,
Or in a busy store,
Or teaching, nursing, day be day
Till limb and brain almost give way;
Yet if, just there, by Jesus thou art found
The place thou standest is Holy Ground.
– M. Colley (1939)
Labor is a holy thing, so let’s celebrate it with a holy day.