Thoughts and Ideas from Rev. Diane R. Ford
Labor Day Sunday, 2016
Integrating our Labor and Spirituality
I spoke to a seasoned educator today who says she has lived by the academic calendar all her life. She spoke of the big push in early September to get prepared for the beginning of the school year. “No matter how long I’ve been at it, it’s still exciting and daunting.”
In Matthew 9 Jesus says, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.” Sounds exciting and daunting. Integrating our labor with our spirituality is what increases the work force Jesus is talking about.
Whatever our work is — be it paid for, volunteered, or the type of work it takes to get ourselves out of bed and make breakfast — all of our labors can be offered as grateful responses to God. Gratefulness is never “not enough.” There is a spiritual quality to it which is whole and complete. Those kind of offerings to God don’t stay in some basket or heavenly ledger — not if we are talking about the God of Moses and Jesus. There is a release of miracles in such offerings. We hear it in the story of water coming out of the rock Moses struck, and the multitudes fed with two fish and a loaf of bread. Paul describes it as the “fruit of the Spirit,” and Jesus described it as “new life,” “living water,” and “the Kingdom of God.”
When you and I gratefully offer all that we are-and-be to the Divine, we are participating in God’s ongoing creation and salvation. We know not who, what or how many will be affected. This is the kind of worker Jesus is referring to when he goes on in Matthew 9, “Ask the Lord of the Harvest to send more workers into the harvest fields.”
What do you do when you are working? How do you see God using you there? As you and I integrate our spirituality and labor, we are the “more workers” being sent. And no matter how long you’ve been at it, working for the Lord of the Harvest is still both exciting and daunting.