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Real rest from our labors

September 1, 2008

by Rev. Paul Marggraf, Mt. Olive Lutheran Church, Delano

In the Bible, Solomon writes in Ecclesiastes 5:12, “The sleep of a laborer is sweet.”

The Labor Day holiday sounds as though it should be a workaholic’s favorite day of the year! Actually, of course, it is just the opposite. Labor Day is not a day for labor – it’s a day off from labor.

The words of Solomon remind us not to despise a day off from work. Our labors may bring us all kinds of tensions, frustrations, and aggravations. Our pay may be too small, unfair, or, in a few cases, really too much for our own good.

A day off, however, is always welcome. Rest from work is a gift from God – really a better gift than our paychecks.

Time off from work should be doubly sweet for us who are children of God. For us, a day off is more than just a rest for the body and mind. It is more than temporary relief from the daily grind.

A day off is also a picture for the eternal rest from our labors which God has in store for us through the forgiveness of our sins in Christ – the “rest” we often call “heaven.”

Right now, we don’t have the ability to understand the kind of joy our Lord has in store for us in our heavenly home, so he gives us simple comparisons from everyday life to help us understand.

We understand very well that a day off from work is pleasant. God assures us that our heavenly home will be every bit as pleasant as our best holidays. This Labor Day, take a moment or two from your recreation to consider that!

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.