Labor Day was created to honor the contributions that workers have made to economic well-being of America. President Grover Cleveland first made it a federal holiday in 1894. Labor Day is the first Monday in September, falling on the 5th this year.
What is God's perspective on labor, or, as we say today, "work"? God expects us to work for most of the week. In Exodus 20:9 we read God's command that for "six days you shall labor and do all your work." But it’s not just about putting in our time, God encourages us to work with passion and diligence: "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might" (Ecclesiastes 9:10a). Work is important and allows us do the essential things in life – provide for ourselves, family, as well as others in need.
In our 24/7 society, it is nice to remember that God understands our need for rest! Sabbath is referred to 111 times in the Old Testament also occurs 67 times in the New Testament.
"Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work" (Exodus 20:9-10a). God understands we need a day away from work so bad that it is fourth in the Ten Commandments!
But true rest, is not found through inactivity, the end of the commandment is paramount. “Remember the Sabbath Day and keep it holy.” (Exodus 20:8).
To honor the Sabbath of the Lord your God, is worship.
Worship is more than putting your time in at church. Doing that, you make it work – just like punching a time clock. Worship helps us connect with God and others. Worship helps us understand our purpose in God’s world and prepares us to live it out the rest of the week.
Jesus offers this promise, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30.
God's "work week" is a marvelous schedule that works. It pushes us to work hard at our jobs and other responsibilities throughout the week, and then gives us a day of rest to focus on God.
While our society celebrates this one day off a year God commands Sabbath every week! As you prepare for the upcoming holiday weekend, remember to always put God first and keep the Sabbath holy. Have a restful Labor Day weekend, but more importantly may you be blessed by the Sabbath. Hope to see you at church.
Ongoing prayers and blessings, Rob
What’s for dinner? That is a common question at most homes. The weekly routine of meal planning, shopping, preparing the meal, clean up… and the cycle continues week to week. Exhausting!
What a gift to have an organization that coordinates meals for many in our community. There are no qualifications or age restrictions. Anyone living in Bloomington or Eden Prairie can have meals delivered.
Meals On Wheels is a non-profit organization that delivers low-cost, hot, nutritious meals during the noon hour in the cities of Bloomington and Eden Prairie. Clients are elderly, ill or disabled. Meals are delivered by volunteers whose friendly visit plays a vital role in allowing clients to stay independent and in their homes. For more information visit their website: https://bloomingtonmeals.com/
St. Luke’s is on a rotating schedule with deliveries in our Bloomington area. Much thanks to member Ruth Behrendt for her many years of service. We are grateful that Gina Griffith has stepped up to fill Ruth’s shoes.
But it takes more than one. Thank you to the many members who deliver meals. There is room for more to join this ministry.
An individual who can drive and has an hour of time, this is a great opportunity to serve. Bring a friend along if you wish!
Meal pick up is at St. Stephen’s Church between 10:45-11:00 am. Deliver meals to 5-8 individuals in about an hours time.
Our dates for September Meals On Wheels:
Monday, September 5 - CLOSED
Tuesday, September 6 - 2 drivers needed
Wednesday, September 7 - 4 drivers needed
Thursday, September 8 - 0
Friday, September 9 - 2 drivers needed
If you have never delivered before, contact Gina. She has forms she can email to you or you can fill out when you go pick up your delivery route.
Thanks so much!!
Gina Griffith’s Contact: Phone or Text 952-594-0816 or Email firstname.lastname@example.org
On Sunday, August 21, following the 10 AM worship, will be hosting a Get to Know St. Luke’s Luncheon. This is specifically for nonmembers who have been attending St. Luke’s and are interested in learning more. As with all of the St. Luke’s Ministries and Events, “All are Welcome.” If you are interested in attending, please let me know (contact below) by Wednesday, August 17.
Things seem to be getting more and more like the early church. As we heard during our series St. Peter’s Principles, walking through the First Letter of Peter, his community was learning how to be church together in a hostile environment. No matter what the community faced Peter urged the members to be about sharing the hope and love of Jesus with all people, including those who persecuted them.
Recently there has been a falling off of people attending any church (down to 49% of United States Citizens polled by Pew Research), with the fasted growing religious affiliation being “Nones” (No religious affiliation).
I believe the direction Peter gave his community is the same we need today, keep on loving and trusting in a hope that does not disappoint.
Later this month our staff members will gather for our Quarterly Staff Meeting. We will be planning for the year ahead. The question proposed is “Why Church?”
Followed by a second set of questions is about:
In regard to your ministry position…
I invite you to share your answers to this week’s questions in the comments or feel free to contact me directly.
Your partner in sharing the Good News of Jesus, Rob
email@example.com / 952-881-5801 ext. 103
or those who do not know, my family splits time between St. Luke’s and the church Nancy grew up at Chapel Hills in Edina. Her church is seeking a new minister and asked me if I would serve as a pastoral reference for their church profile. I was asked to answer the following questions below. In doing so it made me think about my answers for St. Luke’s.
We asked similar questions as a part of our 95th Anniversary and they provided direction and guidance these past five years. With St. Luke’s celebrating its first 100 years of ministry it would be fun to hear your answers so we can continue to be a welcoming and growing community of faith, busy making Christ known to the world for the next 100 years and beyond...
- Describe some areas of strength in this church’s ministry.
- Describe some areas for improvement in this church’s ministry.
- Describe a significant experience you have had of this church’s ministry.
- Anything else you wish to share?
Please share in the answers in the comments or feel free to contact me directly. Look forward to hearing from you.
Rob Norris-Weber, Pastor
952-881-5801 ext. 103