Thursday, September 3, 2009


The word “holiday” is derived from the Holy Days appointed by God. These chosen times were set apart for the purpose of teaching His people about Himself and His relationship to them. They were to be a blessing not only to His people, but also to God.

However, the focus of a typical American “holiday” is not God, but man and is everything but holy. Labor Day is a good illustration.

Conceived by the labor movement and celebrated since the 1880s, the form for Labor Day was outlined in the first proposal of the “holiday”; “a street parade to exhibit to the public ‘the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations,’ followed by a festival for the workers and their families.”

“The vital force of labor added materially to the highest standard of living and the greatest production the world has ever known and has brought us closer to the realization of our traditional ideals of economic and political democracy. It is appropriate, therefore, that the nation pay tribute on Labor Day to the creator of so much of the nation's strength, freedom, and leadership — the American worker.”
– United States Department of Labor

According to the foundational and ongoing celebrations of Labor Day,
it seems that America is looking to its citizens
rather than to God
for prosperity, strength and freedom.

When did America, a nation considered to have been established upon Christian principles, begin on this path? Or… was it so from the beginning?

• Beginning in Genesis, God is portrayed as constantly working. As the Master of the world, He delegates His work to His people for the purpose of glorifying Himself.

• Work was a creation ordinance which man found rewarding and enjoyable because it was done for the purpose of glorifying His Lord. [Gen 2:15].

• Because man fell into pride, God pronounced a curse on the ground causing man to labor against the hostile environment [Gen. 3:17-19] after that which offers no satisfaction [Eccles 2:18-23; 6:7].

• Jesus portrays Himself as a worker who was sent to finish the work of His Father along with His coworkers [John 4:34; 9:4; 5:17] for the purpose of glorifying His Father.

• The Holy Spirit empowers God’s coworkers to glorify their Master through their work [Acts 1:8, Eph 3:20-21].

Although it seems that America, in its pride,
hasn’t moved beyond the curse,
it is possible, through the power of the Holy Spirit,
for work to be redeemed in this fallen world.

According to Isaiah, God’s prophet, man would once again enjoy the work of their hands and not labor in vain [Is 65:21]. Not only can we anticipate this after Jesus returns, work is redeemed when:

1. we understand that God is the one who has called us to our role in life.
2. we realize that our Master has entrusted us with His possessions and we are honored regardless of how “common” our position is because we recognizes that we are serving Him rather than man [Eph 6:5-7; Col. 3:23].
3. we are aware that God not only assigns the tasks, He makes things happen. [1 Cor 3:7, 9].
4. its rewards are not only enjoyed, but accepted as gifts from God [Eccles 2:24; 5:18-19].

May God restore among us a genuine holy day in which, as His coworkers, we rejoice in the fruit of our redeemed labor while paying tribute to Him as the one who provides our securities, freedom and blessings rather than to our own achievements.

Whole-Heartedly, Bonnie

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