Monday, September 3, 2012

Labor Day...not the first day of rest

Today is Labor Day, a day in which most of us will simply enjoy a day off of work by sleeping in, cooking out or simply basking in one last summer get away. Its the way it has been for years and years. Resting on Labor Day.

Way back in the year 1882, Peter McGuire introduced an idea for a new holiday. "Let us have a festive day during which a parade through the streets of the city would permit public tribute to American Industry." It took a few years, but several years later President Cleveland signed a petition designating the first Monday in September as "Labor Day".

Many would contribute the concept for today's day of rest to McGuire, but the whole idea of having a day of rest did not originate with Mcguire or even President Cleveland. The very first declaration of having a day of rest was originated by God Himself.

God created the heavens and the earth and then on the seventh day, He rested! Thus making the seventh day a day of rest. Politicians and historians call their day of rest Labor Day, God calls His  the Sabbath.

"By the seventh day God had finished the work He had been doing; so on the seventh day, He rested from all of His work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it He rested from all the work of creating that He did." Genesis 2:2,3

Now the Sabbath day is NOT a tribute to workers, however, it is a tribute to God. A day to rest our bodies while we focus our mind and heart on God. In the Jewish tradition, the Sabbath is actually the main focal point of the week. It is not a day to sleep in, get caught up laundry or mow the yard. In fact, they spend 3 days getting prepared, and focused for the Sabbath. I guess it is much like we do, preparing for the work week to start. Spending our weekends accomplishing what we can before our week starts. The difference is, our focus is not on God like theirs is.

Many of us think that we have remembered the Holy Day if we take time out of our Sundays to go to church. But once that is fullfilled, we fill the rest of the day with as much as we can. Not resting at all. Not focusing on God at all. Not getting refueled spiritually for the work all!

None of us would dream of working on Labor Day, a day of rest created by man but still have no problem laboring on the Sabbath day, the day of rest created by God. Once a year is good to have a day off of work, but honestly, it is not enough for my spirit man. In order to be renewed and refreshed with Him, I need to clear the junk out of my mind on a more regular basis...say, at least once a week!

"Dear Lord, I want to honor Your Sabbath day. Help me to relax and rest in You so I can be fresh to fight against the fiery darts that will come my way the rest of the week. Thank You for giving me a day of rest, now help me to honor it." AMEN


Denise said...


Debbie Petras said...

Great post Laurie and how true. As I am enjoying a day of not working, I always want to remember the Sabbath.

Blessings and love,