The celebration of Labor Day is about spending your time doing anything but working. It’s so great to have a whole day not to work at the end of summer. The smell of grilled meat, along with laughter and delight fill the air just because we don’t have to work!
Labor Day is a national holiday of rest from work. God assigned a spiritual discipline of rest from work one day each week. He assigned it so that we would learn how to appreciate the privilege of work and to strengthen our bond to Him. The Jews made it a labor to rest. There were so many rules about rest that they condemned the work of the God who gave them rest. Jesus purposely healed others on Sabbath to show that rest is not work and work is not rest. John 5:15-17 is one example:
The man went away and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had made him well. So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jewish leaders began to persecute him. In his defense Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at His work to this very day, and I too am working.”
Work is a good thing. Mark Roberts of Laity Lodge taught that the first view we have of God is as a worker. It is not an image of God sitting high and lofty on a throne telling others what to do. It is an image of God speaking the very words that bring everything into being. In Genesis 2, we learn that He even used His very hands in the act of forming a man from the dust and fashioning a woman from a man’s rib.
Work becomes worship when we have it in proper perspective. It is one of the ways we see ourselves as made in the image of God. Our work is what reveals who we are and what we believe. When we see work as a vocation or calling, we worship as we work. Work is an expression of who God made us to be and an opportunity to make our unique handprint on the world.
The way I view myself as a worker reveals so much about my relationship with God. The best work I do is when I see my Father working through me. Jesus could see that His Father’s work was never ceasing and He saw Himself as a worker just like God.
It seems easy for a minister, or missionary to think of himself as a worker. What about the person who works as a barista or a criminal defense lawyer? The calling is the same. All work is an opportunity to connect to God’s work through you. We are all God’s workmanship created for good works in Christ. God is not only a worker; He defines work in the world He created as good.
I hope you had a Happy Labor Day and that you find your labor a worship experience in the coming week.