A Labor of Love

The harvest is truly plenteous but the laborers are few. Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest that he will send forth laborers into his harvest. Matthew 9:37-38

Reflecting on the Labor Day holiday, and all of the food, fun, and festivities enjoyed in celebration of the end of summer, at some point workers come to mind and the question that emerges is, what is the Labor Day holiday all about? It has to have something to do with workers or the labor force and its impact on the national landscape.

True, but sadly however, in America during the 19th century as workers struggled to eke out a basic living, they were so negatively impacted by their low wages and terrible working conditions that unions were organized. Workers united and began to go out on strikes and demonstrated in protest rallies demanding better wages and work days, and safer working conditions. Unfortunately the rallies resulted in violence and in some cases even fatalities before the peaceful solution of a holiday was conceived for workers and their supporters to protest for better working conditions and for eight-hour days and against 12-hour days, unfair wages, and unsanitary working conditions.

It took a while, but Labor Day finally ensued on June 28, 1894 by a law enacted by Congress making the first Monday of September a legal holiday, dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers.

September is about more than holidays, however, but is a time of harvest of once again food and the workers necessary to gather their bounty of fruits and vegetables to sell at market or to store for use during the colder months. Yet in the Matthew text was Jesus referring to the harvest of food or the abundant harvest of liberated souls for the kingdom of heaven?

Wasn’t the Lord Jesus supernaturally feeding the crowds of hungry and oppressed people and supernaturally healing the crowds of sick and oppressed people so that they would receive the good news of salvation? Isn’t it safe to say that every day was Labor Day for Jesus during his ministry and that God expects the same labor of love from believers today?

No, believers don’t have to hold demonstrations or rallies for the “cause” of salvation—but are called to labor in the Lord’s harvest of fallen humanity. Believers are here to dig in with the Word of God, turn over the dirt of sin and shame, and prayerfully cultivate the harvest with faith, hope, and love, reaping a yield of transformed hearts of men and women, boys and girls throughout the whole world.

Yours in Christ,

 

Rev. Lurecie M. Stokes

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