Labor Day is traditionally observed on the first Monday in September. It is often celebrated as the “unofficial end of summer.” Today, people all over the United States will spend time at the lake, grilling their favorite foods, traveling, spending time with family and friends, and simply relaxing and enjoying a long weekend. Labor Day first became a holiday in 1894. During a time of tremendous unrest in the United States, industrial workers began to organize and fight for better working conditions. There were multiple strikes across the country, many of which turned violent. The first Monday of September slowly became known as the “Working man’s holiday.”
We have come a long way since that first Labor Day. Working conditions have drastically improved in our country. We recognize that we still have far to go in many ways, but we take this day of rest to celebrate the fruits of our labor and to rest from our work.
The demands of labor have been part of human life, long before the Industrial Revolution. Working on the farm, laboring with our hands, has been part of life throughout history. The effect of labor is to make the laborer tired. At times our body is tired and at times our souls are tired.
The good news of our faith is that in Christ, we find rest. Our bodies find rest on the sabbath and our souls find peace in connection with God.
I hope today you rest. I pray that today you are reminded that God is at work in the midst of our labor. He brings peace and rest in the midst of our daily struggles, and the hope of an eternal rest when our work on earth is done.
Precious Lord take my hand
Lead me on, let me stand
I am tired, I’m weak, I am worn
Through the storm, through the night
Lead me on to the light
Take my hand, precious Lord
Lead me home
(Take My Hand, Precious Lord, Thomas A. Dorsey)
– Rev. Keith King, Pastor of Worship