"For it is God who works in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure." (Philippians 2:13)
HAPPY LABOR DAY!
Never has more work been accomplished in six days. The universe went from vast nothingness and emptiness to what we know it today. After six days, God looked at all that he had created and realized that it was “very good. So God rested."
God wasn’t tired though. He didn’t take a break in his recliner and eat Doritos while watching football. He rested, in that he simply stopped his work of creating. But God was setting a precedent.
The Hebrew word for rest is shabbat. Shabbat is the word from which we get our English word Sabbath. With this Sabbath that the Lord took, and, with the 7th day of sabbath that he observed, God established the importance of rest.
Labor Day is a day when Americans pay tribute to working men and women. Historically, Labor Day has two meanings: many people take a day off from work, and, it’s the “unofficial” end of summer, even though I dare to say that many of us would question that – since in our part of the country, summer weather will continue for several more weeks.
As a working man or woman, when was the last time you found joy in your work? The Bible gives us a clue: “Whatever you do, do all for the glory of God.” When we work for the Lord and to serve people, any honorable work has meaning. It all depends on our attitude. Do we anticipate another routine day? If so, that’s probably what you’ll get. But if we’re planning to live this day to please God and to serve our fellow man, we may be surprised at how the routine is replaced by joy and meaning.
Labor Day is a great day that Americans love to savor and rest. People head for the lake or beach. They grill burgers and hot dogs. They enjoy a relaxing day with family or friends. Physical rest is a very important thing. God wants us to take care of the bodies he has blessed us with. But, we also need times of spiritual rest and renewal.
In worship, in personal devotions, in Bible study, in our Savior Jesus, we find our spiritual sabbath. In him we find rest for our souls. In him we find a Savior who gives us eternal rest for our souls.
As we enjoy Labor Day, we can be reminded of the importance of spiritual rest for our souls on a regular basis.
Finally, on Labor Day and every day, we can look forward to the eternal paradise of heaven where both body and soul will rest forever.
Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, give rest to our weary soul each and every day. Refresh and renew us with your Word and Sacraments. Guide us through this wearisome life until we rest with you forever in heaven. In your name we pray. Amen.
Frederick Hill, Interim Pastor