I’m not really sure why we celebrate Labor Day. I could hop over to Wikipedia and do some research, but the holiday so bores me that I don’t want to waste my time researching it. I will say that I hope you have a happy one as you abstain from labor. I will confess, that when I realized today was a holiday, I rejoiced. The day meant a quick break from teaching and something that I have not had in years: a three-day weekend.
I had to do some thinking to figure out that I have not had a three-day weekend since the early 1990s. Now let me qualify that. I have had a lot of days off in the past two years. However let me stress that when you are unemployed, a holiday is no holiday. It is just another day in which to worry about not making ends meet. I have also had the day off when I worked part-time jobs. But for the hourly employee, the holiday is rarely a holiday since the hourly employee ends up losing income over the day. It turns out to be more of a curse than a blessing.
I have also had the day off in times past when I had a salary. But given that I was a pastor, and had to preach on Sundays, the weekend was not a three-day weekend. In fact, most pastors never get a three-day weekend or the joy of celebrating any other holiday. This is due to the reality that for the pastor, Sunday is coming. A holiday in the midst of a week just means another interruption in the preparation for the LORD’s day. So holidays for pastors are never really what most people understand them to be, a break from labor. I’m sure there are plenty of professions in which this is true.
Now, given all this, I’m not complaining. I would much rather be in full-time ministry, preaching God’s word for God’s people with the interruption of the occasional holiday. I would rather experience the joy of preaching God’s word on a regular basis than the occasional three-day weekend. But I am glad I have the three-day weekend today (so I can finish grading papers, while my wife goes to work and pours coffee for the general public). The day is a welcomed break. I will enjoy the day for what it was meant to be. I hope you do as well.