Pastor’s Corner

Labor For The Master

The month of September in the United States is known for its public holiday-
“Labor Day” which is celebrated on the first Monday. Originating in the 19th
century, it honors the American labor movement and the contributions that
workers have made to the growth and well-being of the county. The first parade
promoted by the Central Labor Union and the Knights of Labor took
place in New York City. In 1887, in fact, Oregon was the first state of the
United States to make it an official public holiday. By the time it became an
official federal holiday in 1894, some thirty states officially celebrated Labor
Day.
In reflecting upon this holiday, we are reminded of the work that was given to
Adam at the very inception of our world. Scripture records, “The Lord God
took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to dress and keep
it” (Genesis2:15). God’s purpose for His creation was for them to experience
the blessings of work and “labor”. The wise man warns about idleness and
the results of slothfulness- “A sluggards appetite is never filled, but the desire
of the diligent are fully satisfied” (Proverbs 13:4) The apostle Paul in the
New Testament reminds us that “Whatever you do, work at it with all your
heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters” (Colossians 3:23).
What a blessing labor can be as we realize that it came from our Creator Himself
as a gift. This gift that has been given to us we are to use in noble and
purposeful ways in our world. We work to earn a livelihood and to support
ourselves and our families. We labor for their welfare and in order to provide
for them.
These are all good in and of themselves, but there is another aspect of our labor
in this world and that is “laboring for the Master.” Jesus Himself
spoke of this kind of labor. In speaking of the work of the “kingdom” to be
done, He reminded his disciples that “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers
are few….” I am reminded of the words of that well known hymn,
“When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder”. The lyrics of the third stanza call us to
the highest purpose in working not only for time but for eternity.
“Let us labor for the Master from the dawn till setting sun,
Let us talk of all His wondrous love and care,
Then, when all of life is over, and our work on earth is done,
And the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there.”
In this month of September, let us be involved in labor
that not only affects us in this life but impacts the kingdom
of God. We can do this as we go about our day to day
lives, in whatever work context we may find ourselves.
We can work for the Master by sharing Him with those
we work with and by reflecting His love to them in tangible
and relevant ways. Then when all of life is over, and
our work (labor) on earth is done, when the roll up yonder
is called, we’ll be there! Pastor Barry Taylor
September 2019