Tomorrow September 3rd is Labor Day and this day is observed as a Feast Day in the Episcopal Church Kalendar. It is not observed by other Traditions as a Feast Day liturgically but may be celebrated as local, ecclesiastical tradition and authority dictate. Many Reformed Churches congregationally do observe this National Holiday as a liturgical feast day. For our observance we will use The Collect and the Gospel is taken from the Episcopal Lectionary. I will post this today so that those who may be away on vacation or have special plans may see the Readings.
Almighty God, you have so linked our lives one with another that all we do affects, for good or ill, all other lives: So guide us in the work we do, that we may do it not for self alone, but for the common good; and, as we seek a proper return for our own labor, make us mindful of the rightful aspirations of other workers, and arouse our concern for those who are out of work; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
One of the most hated(by the right wing capitalist evangelicals) and least quoted passages in the Gospel of Jesus the Christ is the last sentence in the Gospel Reading for Labor Day. “You cannot serve God and wealth!” Religious capitalists especially American evangelicals have for centuries tried to deny the veracity of this statement by Jesus but they cannot deny its Truth. When innocent men and women were being gunned down by the police hired by the corporations for demanding fair wages and collective bargaining a few brave elders would chant this Gospel which enraged the owners of capitol and their religious and political supporters even more. So it is today. Without the sacrifice of blood and treasure of those who followed the Gospel directives as men and women of a union we would have no “Labor Day”, no minimum wage and a demand for a living wage, no forty hour week, no paid vacation, no family leave, no employer required health insurance, no environmental protection and no laws to protect children from exploitation!
Jesus said, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
“The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light; but if your eye is unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!
“No one can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”
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