On Monday we, along with the rest of the nation, will celebrate Labor Day. Most people probably see it as a much needed day off, but few remember what it actually represents. Contrary to popular belief, Labor Day isn’t just a one-day hiatus from our work routines by filling freeways and beaches. There’s actually historical significance to this random day off.
For over 100 years, Americans have taken the first Monday in September off of work as a day to remember the labor movement and the social and economic achievements of American workers. It’s a yearly national tribute to the millions of workers that have contributed to the strength, prosperity and well-being of our country. So the government––or someone (it’s still up for debate who it actually was)––decided to give us a day off.
In the Christian worldview it’s not just a day to take our families to crowded beaches or packed movie theaters, but it’s also a reminder of the great God we worship. Labor Day should be a reminder that we are made in God’s image and part of our role as image-bearers is our calling to work. But work is never really just work, nor is it just a means for us to pay the bills and provide for our families. God’s intention, from the very beginning, was for his creation, man and woman, to work. It’s not a result of sin––even though we’re sometimes tempted to think it is. Genesis 2:15 makes it clear that Adam and Eve were meant to joyfully work in a perfectly fulfilling way. In fact, work is an act of worship unto God, and a primary way through which God intends to make us more like Christ––work sanctifies us, teaches us how to trust Him more and allows us to live evangelistically. Our labor at work is a continual act of worship (Ephesians 6:5-7; Colossians 3:22-24).
With this in mind, as we take time off for Labor Day, there is much reason to worship. Here are a few ways you can make Labor Day a worshipful day:
Spend time with the Lord.
Even though this is something we should be doing on a regular basis, remember that a work day off doesn’t mean it’s a day off from being a child of God. True rest is found in walking with the Lord (Matthew 11:28-30), so start your day with a cup of coffee (or tea) and your bible. Read and recognize God’s provision through work and commit to know the Lord better throughout your day. If anything, be encouraged to spend more time with the Lord on Monday!
Enjoy God’s creation.
At some point in the day, go outside and enjoy God’s handiwork. As we take time away from our work, we can enjoy God’s work, the imprint of his labor in our world (Romans 1:20). It’s truly amazing the world that God has made for us, so enjoy it! And, it’s probably a good idea to take advantage of our California weather.
Whatever you plan is for Monday, make sure that you do it for the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31) and that you actually get rest. We have a tendency to find our identity in our busy-ness, but use this time off to slow down a bit. Just like our need for sleep every night reminds us of our dependence on God for refreshment, our need for rest forces us to trust God in the midst of our busy schedules. Look away from your email, turn off your phone (at least for a little while), place all your anxieties and burdens on Christ, and rest knowing that we have a God who is trustworthy and sovereign.
Return back to work refreshed.
It’s easy for us to dread the day after a holiday, but use the time away to be thankful for work. Some of us might have difficult coworkers or employers, or might be going through a difficult project or circumstance, but remember that we ultimately work for the Lord (Colossians 3:23) and that our workplaces are an opportunity to display Christ to a watching world. So make sure you’re recharged and ready to take on what the Lord has set before you at work!