A Labor Day Reflection

Having just celebrated our daughter’s first birthday with family and dear friends on Saturday, we took it easy on Labor Day. We had a full house this weekend with my family and Susan’s parents in town but as we said our good byes, turned off the tv and put the kids down for bed, we all got a chance to catch our breath and reflect a little.

It was about a year ago that we moved to Massachusetts and I started serving at Grace Chapel. It’s been a great beginning for me and though I feel a bit overwhelmed by all the things that need to get done for the launch of the new ministry year, I am excited for this second year. I am relieved that I finally know some people’s names, some people know me, I have an idea of what things look like now, and this helps me imagine alongside others of what things can look like in the coming year.

Today, I’ve been thinking about my transition out of youth ministry too. I’ll always miss working with students and am hopeful that I can always serve or advocate for young people and youth pastors. And while it was good for me to segue out into what I’m doing now (small groups, adult discipleship, etc.), I’ve been thinking about how important solid youth min (and family ministry in general) really is for today’s Church. Found myself praying for youth ministries and youth pastors today.

I’ve also been thinking about those who are unemployed, under-employed and those “miserably employed” at their job. During the welcome time at our Sunday night evening service, I asked people to ask their neighbors what was their worst job they’ve ever had. Mine was being a telemarketer during college. I did it for almost a year before that same company made me an inbound customer service rep. It was like going from the Seventh Circle of Hell to the Fourth (According to Dante, isn’t that one for clergy anyway?).

Anyway, I had a few odd jobs during those college years and looking back at it, it’s a luxury to be able to complain about such things because it generally means that you are in a much healthier position today. And in light of our job market, I realize I am among the fortunate ones and this is not lost on me. I am grateful to not only have a position, but I am fortunate to love what I do (most days ;)

Which brings me to the last part of my prayer and reflection this Labor Day – It’s for all those who are employed. May we be good steward of our opportunities in a number of ways. May we serve our employers, constituents, congregations, customers, rivals, fellow laborers in a way that honors God. May we provide for our families and give to the stranger in need. May we find fulfillment in what we are doing and leverage what we can to enrich the lives of those around us – in our homes, in our communities and throughout our world.

And so, may the Lord bless our labor and be with us as we work.

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