“So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.”
Labor Day is often the ‘official end of summer’ and the beginning of Fall church ministries and a return to school. Often Labor Day weekend includes gatherings with family and friends, camping trips, one last time to the cabin, grill outs and yard work. Labor Day originated in 1882 in New York City with a parade organized by a machinist and a carpenter, so this day has been recognized for over a century.
Over the last 19 months of navigating the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have become more keenly aware of the importance of work, of what working remotely means, and the meaning and value of ‘essential workers.’
In the letter of James, the writer emphasizes a strong connection between our faith and work and when the two are in harmony, it is the common good of all that benefits. James says that work inspired by faith is about loving our neighbor as ourselves.
As people of faith, may we take time on this day to offer thanks to God for the work we do or the work we have done that has supported us and our families. I invite us also to take time to think about our connection to others and their work and labor. It is hard to think of much we do throughout the day that does not involve the work and labor of others. Everything from those that have grown and harvested and transported and prepared and sold or served the fresh food we have to eat; to those who run the industries that make it possible to have electricity and air conditioning; to those who make possible our transportation by automobile or plane or bus or train or bike; and on and on…
There is work and a job behind everything we put our trust in and depend upon. May we also take time on this Labor Day to think about the value of our faith and work and the work of others; and give thanks for both.