I hope you are doing well on this Labor Day weekend! I have different understanding of the importance of the holiday in this pandemic year of 2020. Rather than a time when we traditionally mark the end of summer with picnics, parades, and back to school shopping, this year I’m thinking more of the importance all types of workers and their work in our lives.
I believe many of us have realized the interconnectedness we have with those who do the many different jobs that make the wheels of our society turn smoothly—jobs and people we most likely took for granted before Covid-19 came. The term “essential workers” raised up in our awareness the importance of the work of people as diverse as grocery store shelf-stockers, gas station attendants, truck drivers, health professionals, child care workers, farmworkers, food production laborers, and many, many more. We depend on them each day and so it’s only right that we see each person as a person and are thankful for what they do. It is also only right that we work to seek justice for all workers in the many areas that justice is lacking.
And so I invite you to join me in this this prayer.
In Christ’s love,
A LITANY OF LABOR
by Nancy Light Gottshall
Leader: Ruler of the heavens, who came to earth as a humble carpenter, hear our prayers this Labor Day weekend: We give thanks for the gift of work, which can help give meaning and purpose to our lives, and which can offer us a way to serve you.
People: Companion of our labor, hear our prayer.
L: We pray for all whose work is truly their calling, that they may continue to find joy in their labor, and through their labor be drawn closer to you.
P: Joy in our lives, hear our prayer.
L: We pray for all whose work is not a joy, who work simply because they must, and who suffer boredom or exhaustion from jobs that do nothing to feed their spirits.
P: Source of all meaning, hear our prayer.
L: We pray for all whose work leads them into ethical conflicts, who struggle to do what is right in the midst of frustrating circumstances.
P: Guide for our path, hear our prayer.
L: We pray for all who are unemployed, who face daily the financial and personal anxieties that unemployment brings, who begin to wonder about their worth in the world.
P: Savior in the stress, hear our prayer.
L: We pray for all who are retired, those who enjoy retirement, those who have lost purpose in their lives, and those who struggle to make a faithful use of their days.
P: Teacher of quietness, hear our prayer.
L: We know, Gracious God, that our lives depend on the faithful labor of other workers, often those who are underpaid and overworked. Keep us aware of how our choices affect the labor of others. May all of our work be done in a way that brings you honor and glory. We pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.