Thursday, September 03, 2009
Hope on Labor Day Weekend
Labor Day! It has always intrigued me that so many celebrate work by taking the day off. I hope to do that as well, but since I'm on call this weekend, I may very well work on Labor Day. I'm unsure whether my desire is selfish or altruistic, but I pray that families may avoid conflict, that celebrations may remain times of joy marked by moderation in consumption of drink and food, and that drivers will focus on safety rather than careen from lane to lane with a cellphone to their ear while they argue with a spouse. My "holiday" weekend began with holy behavior this weekend, giving hope (and food) to people who didn't have enough of either to feed their families. Over the past few weeks, I noticed a concern for the poor in several seemingly unrelated Bible passages: Acts chapters 2 and 4 rejoicing that there were no poor among the earliest followers of Jesus because the rich sold possessions and gave to the poor, Ezekiel including a lack of concern for the poor as a primary reason for the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Deuteronomy's entreaties to leave grain behind in the fields for travelers and the poor, and the apostle Paul's campaigns to raise funds for the poor. The Bible records caring for the poor by practicers of religion, but also in the Old Testament especially states that nations should help their less fortunate citizens. This Labor Day, I know that some who want to work badly have no job. Others who are ill cannot afford treatment. Let's work to find a path to hope for these people.