A Labor of Love
“Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” 1 Cor. 15:58
The first “Labor Day” celebration was held on September 5, 1882 at the prompting of the Central Labor Union of New York City. At the time, working conditions and morale among workers were extremely low. The leaders were looking for a way to honor the economic and social achievements of the American worker. The idea gradually spread to other cities and states. On June 28, 1894, Congress passed an act decreeing the first Monday in September as a legal and national holiday. The parades, speeches, and other festivities are seen as labors of love which help us stand firm and continue in our labors the other 364 days in the year.
As Christians, we have been called to give ourselves “fully to the work of the Lord”. Every day He gives us opportunities to show our love for him through works of mercy in our homes, communities and church. I thank God for the privilege of working alongside you in our church. However, I must confess that often I find it difficult to “give myself fully to the work of the Lord.” My heart is sinful. I struggle every day between the things of God and the things of the world. My morale can get low. I get frustrated when I don’t see as much change as I’d like from my labor. At these times, I am working more for myself than the Lord. Such sin makes it hard to “stand firm”. That’s why it is so important to come back to the cross, to Jesus’ labor of love. He left His home in heaven, lived a sinless life on earth, died a criminal's death, and rose victorious on Easter. Because of His labor of love, I am forgiven. With a clean heart and right spirit within me, I can indeed stand firm. What is true for me is equally true for each of us.
I look forward to joining with you in labors of love this month—worship, Bible Study and service projects. Seeing other Christians give themselves fully to the work of the Lord in labors of love also helps us stand firm in our faith. We know that as we carry out labors of love, our faith, and the faith of those around us, is strengthened. His love for us is made evident, as well as our love for Him.
As you continue in your labors of love, stand firm, your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
In the Service of Christ and You,
Pastor Mark Rhoads