by Lt. Colonel Cindy-Lou Drummond
Like many holidays in the United States, Labor Day has lost significance. If you were to poll your neighborhood about how they will celebrate Labor Day, I suspect you would find more than a few neighbors celebrating with a cookout or enjoying the day at the beach. Americans view Labor Day as the end of summer and the beginning of the school year; most people do not reflect on the reason for the holiday. This day is celebrated to honor American workers’ role in our country’s social and economic achievements. In June 1894, President Grover Cleveland signed a law designating the first Monday in September as a national holiday. A little-known fact is that the American Federation of Labor convention in 1909 adopted the Sunday preceding Labor Day as “Labor Sunday,” highlighting the spiritual and educational impact of the labor movement. Because of the American Labor Movement, we enjoy a raised standard of living and tremendous opportunities.
Today, we find ourselves in a labor crisis. The service industry has suffered because of the lack of people willing to be employed as waiters and waitresses, housekeeping, or maintenance. Corporations need help to fill all their vacant positions. Even the church is experiencing a crisis with few individuals responding to the call to ministry and resignations for various reasons. The COVID-19 pandemic did our country no favors when it comes to work. It was disruptive and at times, destructive. Yet, there is still work that needs to be done.
As disciples of Jesus Christ, we are not only learners of His way, we are God’s fellow workers. We are responsible for working with God in our relationship with him and our church community. We are to grow while anchored in the foundation of Jesus. Paul, through I Corinthians 3: 9-16, reminds us:
9 For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.
10 By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. 14 If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. 15 If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.
16 Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?
Jesus further reminds us of the work that is ready for the worker in Matthew 9: 35-38
35 Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
We are all called to build the church, edifying one another, and working together for God’s Kingdom. Seeking the lost is critical to building God’s Kingdom. As Jesus said, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.” Perhaps God is calling you to be a vocational disciple, responding to the call for laborers. Respond obediently if you hear God’s voice calling you to full-time ministry. Working with and for the King of Kings is something to celebrate daily.