As we go into Labor Day weekend, the traditional marker of the end of summer, it might be useful to reflect on the idea of having an annual Federal holiday to honor labor. The origins of the holiday have to do with the American labor movement, but I’m thinking more broadly about honoring the labor that we and those around us do — honoring it by taking time to rest.
And this brings me to Sabbath. One of the most frequently broken of the Ten Commandments is the commandment to rest once a week, to hallow the Sabbath day. That commandment smacks up against the Protestant work ethic that many of us grew up with — and God’s commandment has tended to lose that contest!
And yet you may have also noticed increased societal interest in recent times about a particular kind of Sabbath — a Tech Sabbath. Just this morning I was listening to a podcast advising that we take a day off from all our phones and computers once a week — and use that time to rest and read and generally do things we enjoy. People may be calling it a Tech Sabbath, but it sounds like a regular Sabbath to me — how wonderful!
O God, in the course of this busy life, give us times of refreshment and peace; and grant that we may so use our leisure to rebuild our bodies and renew our minds, that our spirits may be opened to the goodness of your creation; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (BCP, p. 825)
Have a restful and peaceful Labor Day!