Labor Day Weekend: Work work work work work

Service and sermon September 3.

We thank you for the gifts and talents you have given us that allow us to earn a living and contribute to our community and society. This Labor weekend, help us to realize how dependent we are on you and one another. Help us to acknowledge and celebrate the value, the dignity, the contribution, and work that each one makes to keep our community and society going.

Our Lord, who give u strength to work, grace to achieve and compassion to serve. One true God, father Son and Holy Spirit. Amen








Pastor: Lord, bless the work of our hands!

For all those who toil and labor; for all those who have lost their jobs; for all those who are looking for a job.

All: Lord, bless the work of their hands!

Pastor: For all those who work under hard and dangerous conditions; for all those who work with compassion to ease and help, when hurricanes hit and storms rage. Support them in their courage and dedication that they may continue to save lives, ease pain, and mend what is broken.

All: Lord, bless the work of their hands!

Pastor: For all those who face discriminations, harassment, or abuse in the work place; for all those who are not paid fair wages or denied legal protection; for all those that work to erase injustice, stop bullying and restore the joy of work and life.

All: Lord, bless the work of their hands!

Pastor: For all those who struggle to balance the load of work and the basic needs of families; for all faithful hardworking providers.

All: Lord, bless the work of their hands!

Pastor: God, through Your Son you gave us an example of how to love one another and how to embody this love in labor to serve, protect, care and share. Give us strength to continue to do Your work with our hands.  

All: Lord, bless the work of their hands.

       Lord, bless the work of our hands! Amen





Psalm 90.14 -16


Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love,
    so that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
16 Let your work be manifest to your servants,
    and your glorious power to their children.
17 Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us,
    and prosper for us the work of our hands—
    O prosper the work of our hands!

















It is labor weekend. This weekend and the first Monday of September is an annual celebration and dedication to the social and economic achievements of workers in our country. It is an annual national tribute to all the contributions workers have made to the prosperity and the wellbeing of our community and country.

The very first Labor Day was celebrated at a parade in New York City on Sept. 5 1882. 20.000 workers marched in parade up Broadway carrying banners that read:

Eight hours for work eight hours for rest, eight hours for recreation.

This was the desired goals. And since then, since that first parade in 1882, this Labor Day Weekend has become emblematic of all the he strides in commerce, work and human interaction and social justice that has happened through the years. Progress was made, little by little, through courage and commitment to finally organize 7 days work weeks, no children work and basic safety, 8 hours days and minimum wages. This is part of the history of this society.


So, this day (tomorrow)  was set aside to honor the value and the dignity of work. And today we think about work, the meaning of work, the boundaries of work and the blessing or curse of work. For some just hearing the world “work” makes them tired and stressed. For others thinking of work give a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment. Work can mean your job to earn a living, but it can also refer to the work you do volunteering for your favorite charity.


Labor Weekend gives us an opportunity to think about work. It is a time to acknowledge how dependent we are on each other. How dependent we are on the work and contributions of others. How interdependent we are as a community, and a country. And as a church


It is labor weekend, and while these 3 days to many - in a funny way - seems to be a weekend to do as little labor as possible, and just relax before September business sets in, it sure is a busy labor heavy weekend for us here at the Danish Church! 

It is indeed labor weekend for us as we once again are busy at the Orange International Street Fair: mixing, baking, selling, and serving delicious Danish Ableskiver and sharing our talents, gifts, strength and labor to share Danish Delights with others and to raise funds for the church.

So as a church, we especially know this weekend how defendant we are on hard working dedicated volunteers who mix, bake, sell, serve and smile for the better of this church and our congregation.

We are a hardworking church – in a hardworking society and country. Americans are hardworking people; it is a society built on principles of hard work, dedication, long hours and no vacation.


Do we work to live or do we live to work ?

Do we live to work so our work and our careers and professional lives are the major source of satisfaction and meaning in our lives?

Do we work to live so our work simply supports our lives and families but only as means to an end, not the end itself?

Do we work to live or do we live to work?


Well, it all depends. It depends on your work. It depends on your situation. It depends on the society you live and work in. Work can truly be a blessing or a curse.


But too often, we seem to forget how dependent we are. How interdependent we are. And Labor weekend and Labor Day is a fine opportunity for us to acknowledge that and celebrate the diversity of work and commitments in our society.

Today we are reminded and should remind each other what binds us together as a community, and as nation: the work of the garbage men, the pilots and policemen; the work of the nurses, the migrant workers, and the men washing our cars; the work of  the 7/11clerk, the pizza delivery , the UPS drivers, the plumbers and the accountants; the work of the landscapers, the lifeguards, the cleaners and the cooks; the work of the waiters, the steel workers, the carpenters, the scientist, the teachers and yes even the pastors.

Work is a very diverse but yet noble enterprise and worthy of recognition; for all who labor to provide and support their families and for all who labor to make our society and world a better place.


This busy weekend I have been humming, as I have been mixing, baking, selling and serving, -  the mega hit by Jamaican singer Rihanna “ Work work work….” And I read a funny quote that said: “ My life right now is like that Rihanna song…. Work work work work work …but then I don’t understand the rest…”


I actually don’t undertand the rest for the song…. Even if I think it is a good song, mostly because of the chorus and the rhythm, I have to admit that I hardly understand the rest of it! As Rihanna mumbles, raps and sings rapidly.

But in another more profound way…. I do hum Work work work work… and may feel like this is my life… and I don’t understand the rest. Sometimes we do think… why all this work work work…. What is the purpose of it all ?  Why are we so busy….. ?


If we truly think about all the work and workers, we do know that that is the fabric of our society. All this work so diverse, is the fabric of our society and country.


Jesus had a deep appreciation and gratitude of the work of the hand. He lived among fishermen, farmers, carpenters, craftsmen, and tax collectors, religious professionals, inn keepers and land owners. He was indeed a carpenter’s son….

Paul also had a deep appreciation and respect for the work of the hand. And in today’s segment of his letter to the congregation in Rome, Paul lays out how to live a good life as a disciple.


Paul says: “ Let love be genuine, hate what is evil and hold fast to what is good…… Contribute to the needs of the saints and extend hospitialy to strangers. Bless those how persecute you. Live in harmony…. Take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. Live peaceably with all. If you enemies are hungry, feed them, if they are thirsty give them something to drink…… Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

This is the kind of work that God wants.

This is the kind of attitude that God wants.

This is the kind of life that we as Christians should strive to live… genuine in love, holding fast to what is good, extend hospitality to strangers, live peaceably with all, feed the hungry… and never be overcome or overwhelmed or overtaken by evil, but overcome, overwhelm, overtake with good.

This speaks to our spiritual religious life.

And it most certainly speaks to our practical communal life as citizens of a country.


In Jesus teachings, he told us that God indeed does care about how we conduct our business and how we treat others in our professional relationships. In business and in our personal lives, Jesus taught that we are to treat others the way we would like to be treated. The Golden Rule was not meant just for Sundays or just for our behavior with family members and friends. This was handed down to us to live every day with everyone.

What does it mean for your professional life, your volunteer work or your parenting if you put this emphasis to treating others as you would like to be treated? We are imperfect people, just like poor Peter with the Rock-Solid faith from last Sunday was shunned by Jesus as he clearly wanted to choose the easy or easier path in life.  We are imperfect, we make and will continue to make mistakes, and we end up hurting others, but the teachings for Jesus and the writings of Paul to the congregation in Rome, give us something to strive for. A goal to follow in our religious personal lives and in our professional work lives too.

John Wesley once wrote in a sermon “ Gain all you can, save all you can, and give all you can. “

Gaining and saving is not just to have more, but to have more to give and share.


We should let the Golden Rule be our guide at church, at home and at our work.


The easy work is: complaining, blaming, lying, cheating and pretending.


The really hard work is; inspiring, mentoring, helping, learning, and giving.