According to the U.S. Department of Labor, ” Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.”
As Christians, our “job” is one of the means that God uses to care for us and one of the means that God uses to care for society through us. As we consider “Labor Day” from a Christian vantage point, we should consider all the the roles that God, Himself, has placed us in and how He desires that we fulfil those “Holy Orders and Places in Life”.
A good start is the Small Catechism of Dr. Martin Luther. Take a look at these passages. If you find you have failed to fulfil your Holy Offices (and you have – just as I have), repent, resolve to do better, and seek forgiveness and receive it through the Divinely Instituted Means of Grace (Absolution [confessing to those you have wronged and asking their forgiveness and confessing to your pastor and hearing Him pronounce God’s forgiveness to you] and the Eucharist [the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, under the bread and wine, instituted by Christ Himself for us Christians to eat and to drink and “given and shed for you, for the forgiveness of sins”.]).
TABLE OF DUTIES; OR, CERTAIN PASSAGES OF SCRIPTURE FOR VARIOUS HOLY ORDERS AND PLACES IN LIFE,BY WHICH THESE PEOPLE ARE TO BE ADMONISHED ABOUT THEIR OFFICE AND DUTY
To Bishops, Pastors, and Preachers.
A bishop [pastor] must be blameless, the husband of one wife, watchful, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, able to teach; not a drunkard, not violent, not a lover of money; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; one that rules his own house well, keeping his children inobedience with all seriousness; not a recent convert. Holding firm the faithful Word as he has beentaught, that he may be able by sound teaching both to warn and convince those who contradict it. 1Tim. 3:2-4, 6; Tit. 1:9.
What the Hearers Owe to Their Pastors.
Remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer deserves hiswages. Luke 10:7.
Even so the Lord has commanded that they who preach the Gospel should live from the Gospel.1 Cor. 9:14.
Let him that is taught in the Word communicate to him that teaches in all good things. Do not bedeceived; God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that shall he also reap. Gal. 6:6-7.
Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially they who labor in theWord and teaching. For the Scripture says, You shall not muzzle the ox that treads out the grain; and thelaborer is worthy of his wages. 1 Tim. 5:17-18.
And we ask you, brethren, to know those who labor among you, and are over you, in the Lord,and to regard them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves,1 Thess. 5:12-13.
Obey those that rule over you, and submit yourselves; for they watch over your souls, as thosethat must give an account; that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you. Heb. 13:17.
Of Civil Government.
Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except fromGod: the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Whoever therefore resists the authorities, resistswhat God has appointed; and they that resist shall receive damnation for themselves. For rulers are nota terror to good works, but to the evil. Will you then not be afraid of the authorities? Do that which isgood, and you shall have praise from the same: for he is the minister of God to you for good. But if youdo that which is evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, arevenger to execute wrath upon him that does evil. Rom. 13:1-4.
Give to Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s. Matt. 22:21.
Therefore you must be subject, not only to avoid wrath, but also for the sake of conscience. For,for this cause pay your taxes also; for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this verything. Therefore give to all their dues: taxes, to whom taxes are due; revenue, to whom revenue is owed; respect, to whom respect is owed; honor, to whom honor is owed. Rom. 13:5-7.
I urge you therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiving bemade for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable lifein all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 1 Tim. 2:1-3.
Remind them to be submissive to rulers and governing authorities, to be obedient, to be ready todo every good work. Tit. 3:1.
Submit yourselves to every institution of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, assupreme; or to governors, as to those that are sent by him for the punishment of evil-doers, and for the praise of those that do well. 1 Pet. 2:13-14.
Likewise, you husbands, be considerate as you live with them, giving consideration to the wife,as to the weaker vessel, since they are heirs together with you of the grace of life; that your prayers may not be obstructed. And do not be harsh with them. 1 Pet. 3:7; Col. 3:19.
Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands, as to the Lord. Eph. 5:22.
Even as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord; and you are her daughters so long as you dowell, and are not afraid of anything that is frightening. 1 Pet. 3:5-6.
And, you fathers, do not provoke your children to anger: but bring them up in the discipline andinstruction of the Lord. Eph. 6:4.
Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honor your father and mother; whichis the first commandment with promise: that it may be well with you, and you may live long on theearth. Eph. 6:1-3.
To Servants, Hired Men, and Laborers.
Servants, be obedient to those that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear andtrembling, in sincerity of your heart, as to Christ; not with eye-service, as men-pleasers; but as theservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord,and not to men: knowing that whatever good thing any man does, he shall receive the same from theLord, whether he be slave or free. Eph. 6:5-8.
To Masters and Mistresses.
And, you masters, do the same things to them, withholding threats; knowing that your master also is in heaven; there is no respect of persons with Him. Eph. 6:9.
To the Young in General.
Likewise, you who are younger, submit yourselves to the elders. Yes, all of you be subject oneto another, and be clothed with humility: for God resists the proud, and gives grace to the humble.Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may praise you at the proper time. 1 Pet. 5:5-6.
Now she that is truly a widow, and left all alone, trusts in God, and continues in supplicationand prayers night and day. But she that lives to please herself, is dead while she lives. 1 Tim. 5:5-6.
To all in Common.
You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Herein are comprehended all the commandments.Rom. 13:9. And continue in prayer for all men. 1 Tim. 2:1.