The first Labor Day holiday celebrated in America was by the state of New York in 1884. Several other states followed suit over the next few years until it became a national holiday in 1894, signed into law by President Grover Cleveland. However, the first real Labor Day in history was celebrated by God when he “ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.” (Genesis 2:2-3)
God ordained a day of rest, but not just once a year, but rather once a week. God knew that his human creation would work hard and as a result would need rest. That’s why He rested, not because He was tired, but to give us an example to follow. Additionally, God loves and appreciates the hard work his children do, saying in Psalm 128:2, “For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: Happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee.”
Working hard is honorable and instituted by God. As you rest and celebrate this holiday today, thank God for the ability to work, for the job you currently have, or the one you retired from. Additionally, take time to thank God for the many hard working Americans who have gone on before us, helping to make our country strong and prosperous, and of course pray that God continues to bless our nation.
Taking a break from work is important for our physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. God instituted such a day to accomplish just that. The world is moving at warp speed, so take time to rest, and not just on Labor Day.
Lastly, please remember that as Christians our real rest is found in the Lord Jesus Christ. “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-29)