St. Margaret's Episcopal Church, Emmaus, PA - Happy Labor Day!

WEEKLY REFLECTION | Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost, September 5, 2021

Dear Brothers and Sisters of St. Margaret’s!

Blessings on this Labor Day Weekend! I have always considered Labor Day Weekend the beginning of fall. Maybe it’s because I was a student for many years and then a teacher for many more years after that.  I always smile to myself when I hear people in the church talking about fall as the beginning of the “program year” or the “school year”. Because the universities were actually started by the church waaaay back when. Maybe schools should be talking about the beginning of the church school year? Okay. Well maybe not. But it’s fun to think about.

Another thing that is fun (for me, at least) to think about is how pervasive the influence of the church has been in popular culture. When people sneeze, we all respond, “Bless you!” I wonder how many folks actually think of that as a sneaky opportunity to give someone a blessing? And then there are all the wonderful church holidays that have made their way onto the secular calendar: Easter, Christmas, Thanksgiving. However much we might grumble about the commercialization of these holidays, they are still there, even when people choose to ignore the spiritual significance.

The church is never a castle on top of a hill, with moat and walls to keep special people in and to keep everyone else out. By design, the church is in the world, because that’s where the needs are, that’s where humanity is. So the world also has an influence on the church. I am aware of that on the great civil holidays: Veterans’ Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, and, yes, Labor Day. Since the earliest centuries, the church has recognized the wisdom of blessing and celebrating these kinds of days, also. Many of them appear on our liturgical calendar. And we have special prayers for them.  Here is the collect Labor Day.

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. 

And speaking of labor… “it takes a village” to keep our beloved St. Margaret’s open, operating, and reaching out to the world. There are many needs for participants in the service, for help with buildings and grounds, on outreach, on the wellness committee. Why not give some thought to volunteering? We never just throw people into the deep end. There is always guidance and opportunities to practice.  Currently, we are inviting people to consider becoming a reader for the Sunday service.  If you would like to explore that, please talk with Jane or me or with Janice Clymer who schedules them. 

HYMN 541: Come, labor on!

Mo. Laura+

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