In advance of this holiday weekend, I’d like to share this prayer, originally posted on my website. Be well, friends.

Creating God,
you wove a pattern of work and rest into the design of the universe:
making good things for six days and consecrating the seventh for sabbath,
giving our bodies a daily rhythm of productivity and sleep,
and even mirroring this starting and stopping in nature
by prompting plants to bloom and then lie dormant.

On this Labor Day weekend we celebrate good work, paid and unpaid:
shaping our days,
giving us purpose,
utilizing the range of skills you gifted humanity with,
making it possible for us to buy both essentials and extras until we reach retirement
and live out our days on the saved-up fruits of our labors.

At least, that’s the idea.

But some people work multiple jobs and still cannot make ends meet.
Some people cannot find employment because they have criminal records.
Some people reside in areas where jobs are scarce.
Some people are discriminated against in the hiring process because of their race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or religion.

And during this pandemic, work is all the more fraught.
Many jobs increase employees’ exposure to the virus.
Many employers have closed up shop.
Many childcare options for workers with young children have disappeared.
Rest at the end of each workday is hard to come by because of anxiety and limited leisure outlets.

Re-creating God, help us.
Give us work we can feel good about,
protect us from harm as we go about it,
provide for those who are unable to work or whose work does not pay fairly,
open the hearts and minds of those who have jobs to offer,
highlight what needs to shift in our economy so that all might know abundance,
and inspire and empower us to change systemic inequities.

Make it possible for us to look at our collective labors and say, “It is good”
before taking a holy nap.

These things we ask in the name of a Christ who both hit the road and hid out for breaks. Amen.


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