Whatever day the school year actually begins, and whether or not our work includes a fall-into-spring rhythm, there is something about Labor Day that signals a new beginning, the re-start of our routines. As we mark Labor Day this weekend, honoring all those who work—whatever kind of work they do, wherever they do it—we also remember the importance of our own work. Whether our work is paid or unpaid, whether it is formally a “job” or whether it is simply pursuing our sense of God’s calling on our time and our hearts, work gives our lives meaning and purpose.
On Sunday, we will together bless the work that is before us in the coming year—both our collective work as a church, and the work each of us does out in the world. Please bring with you to worship some symbol of your work, whatever that work is. We will bless these symbols as we bless one another’s work.
I hope you can let yourself join wholeheartedly in this blessing, no matter how significant you think your work is, or how much in need of blessing you have thought it might be. In her book An Altar in the World, Barbara Brown Taylor says: “To pronounce a blessing on something is to see it from the divine perspective.” (p. 206) This is what we will do; we will remind one another that all work can be holy, part of the great task God has given us, to mend the world.
In a blog post this week, Elizabeth Nordquist wrote,
“…I am determined to be one who blesses, rather than curses. I want to practice on small things–the deliveries that don’t come on time, the phone calls that interrupt my schedule, the misinterpretation of something I have said. Then I want to speak blessing, not cursing, in the course of my conversations with others–maybe by listening very deeply, rather than jumping in to get my point across. When I am given a chance to speak to a larger audience, I want to choose to be someone who contributes to its healing, speaking the truth, yes! but in love.
… I am increasingly convinced that to offer my blessing in word and action is to be faithful to the Holy One who blesses the world with Presence and Love, and somehow will make my little piece of the planet a little more aware of that Presence and Love for all of us.”
(she blogs at A Musing Amma, posted on patheos.com)
Yes! May this be so for us too.
I’m so glad to be back at work, grateful for your patience with me, and feeling much better. I am looking forward to seeing you on Sunday!