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Labour Day


Here are a variety of worship resources suitable for Labour Day weekend, or any other occasion when work or labour is the focus.


Matthew 5:13-16
Colossians 3:17, 23-24
2 Thessalonians 3:6-13


Prayer of Confession

We are workers, God, just like you. But we confess that our work is not always done in a manner that affirms and honors each other. Our work is not always done in a spirit that is pleasing to you. We confess that, on some occasions, we have blindly bought goods made by people who are paid too little or work in unsafe conditions. We admit that we have failed to end an unjust system in which some workers have jobs that provide good wages and benefits while other may have no job, or one that pays little and provides few benefits.

Creator God, help us to be your people, working for a world where all workers are valued. A world where those who clean houses are also able to buy houses to live in. A world where those who grow food can also afford to eat their fill. And one where those who serve us—in stores, schools, hotels, restaurants, nursing homes, and many other places—are also served by us. It will be a world where all workers everywhere share in the abundance that you have given us.

Words of Assurance

Our God is a God of grace and transformation. When we ask, God gives us the courage and strength to live out our faith in the workplace and the marketplace, as well as in the sanctuary.

~ posted on the United Church of Christ’s website. See that site for additional worship resources for Labor Day.

God of the Working World

God of the working world:
Thank you for meaningful work that fills us with satisfaction,
the way challenges can spur us on to greater efforts
that pay off with a job well done.

But that’s not always the case.
Sometimes the work we do isn’t productive, or it isn’t recognized.
We spend the whole day working and nothing gets done,
the machine breaks down just after we fixed it,
the house gets messy just when it was clean,
more tasks are assigned to us when we are already overwhelmed.

Some of us hate our work.
It’s too hard for us, our bodies can’t take it.
The working environment is depressing,
or the people we work with drag us down.
Sometimes we aren’t making enough money to make ends meet.

And some of us can’t find work.
We sit at home, longing to be productive, but there are no jobs.
In a world that values financial success,
and in a world where bills pile up,
not bringing home a paycheque can make us feel like outcasts.

You are the great employer.
There are jobs in your kingdom for each one;
challenging, meaningful, significant.
You provide us with the tools for the job;
strength, courage, determination and insight.
Open our eyes to your great work, and our place within it.
We are your work, the work of your hands;
we do the work of your hands.

~ written by Carol Penner, and posted on her Leading in Worship blog.

Prayer of Intercession for Labor Day

God our Maker, in the beginning, you called men and women to be stewards of the earth you created and gave them meaningful work to do—naming animals, tending your garden, using their imaginations, observing the world, fulfilling their vocation as those who bore your image and likeness. Still today you call us to do your work and bless us in our activities. We praise you when we find meaning for life as well as the means to our daily bread in our jobs and careers. We thank you for the variety of our vocations, that add richness to society and fill needs in our communities, our nation, and our world. Give your grace to all who labor in our land and across the globe, so they may glorify you through what they do.

We pray particularly that you look with favor on…
…those who care for people at the beginning and at the end of life;
…all who help others cope with crises;
…men and women who put themselves in harm’s way
to ensure the safety and security of others;
…people who inspire our imaginations and touch our hearts through their work;
…those who do dirty and dangerous jobs that are necessary,
but no one else wants;
…first-time teen workers and workers who have retired after long years of service;
…all who contribute to the common good in any way by working.

Yet even as we praise you for the provision you make for our livelihoods through our daily activities, we remember and ask your grace for…
…all who work hard, but cannot make ends meet
or provide security for themselves and their families;
…those who live hand to mouth, with no savings,
so they are one unexpected or new expense away from financial ruin;
…young adults who are strapped and burdened by debt
and older adults struggling to live on fixed incomes;
…men and women who are unemployed and cannot find work;
…those whose jobs have been made irrelevant or obsolete
by technology and a changing culture;
…workers who have been victims of downsizing, outsourcing, and cutbacks;
…people whose jobs are a drudgery
and who dream of something better but find nothing.

We know, too, that there are some who do their work in an unworthy and godless way.
To bring their repentance and salvation, send your judgment on…
…bullies in the workplace;
…bosses and anyone else who take credit for someone else’s ideas and work;
…executives, managers, and any in the workplace
who are not held accountable for unethical and immoral behavior;
…any who produce little or nothing but expect large salaries and perks;
…those whose work exploits, abuses or destroys others for profit or pleasure;
…all in power who use their positions
to steal from their organizations or other people,
to lie, to advance their personal agendas, and to hurt others.

Even as we pray for workers on this Labor Day weekend, we ask your help for all who are sick and grieving, troubled and lonely, hurting and helpless. Especially do we bring you neighbors and friends who are on our hearts, whom we name now before you….

God, you have taken care of your people through the ages. Continue your covenant faithfulness to us gathered here and grant our prayers, even as you help us by your Spirit to turn them into compassionate action. And we will give you the glory. Through Christ we pray. Amen.

~ copyright © 2010 Tom Cheatham. Posted on The Connection blog.

Spoken Resources

Benediction: Salt of the Earth

The Spirit of God is upon you and has anointed you.
You are the salt of the earth and you bring light to the world.
You are not too young or too old,
you are not too rich or too needy
to bring good news to the impoverished,
to give a hand to the broken-hearted,
and to live out freedom and pardon
through the gifts you have been given.

So remember to pack peace in your toolbox,
hope in your briefcase,
love in your lunch box,
and may integrity, honesty, and joy be your designer wear of choice.

Do not be frightened, for you are never alone.
The God in whose image you are made
will walk with you and guide you today, tomorrow, and every day.

~ Copyright © Connie Epp, River East Mennonite Brethren Church, Winnipeg, Manitoba. Used by permission. Free to use in public worship, with acknowledgement.

Benediction for Work, Rest, and Celebration (inspired by Colossians 3:17)

When you work,
work as though worked for the Lord.
When you rest,
rest in the sovereign grace of God

And when you celebrate,
celebrate as a people with the greatest reason
for love, joy, and celebration.

Go now in the grace and forgiveness of our Savior,
and in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Peace be with you.
And also with you.

~ used in worship at Sojourn Community Church, Louisville, KY. Posted on The Open Sourcebook website.


Traditional Hymn: Take My Life, and Let It Be

Worship Together #196

Take my life, and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee;
Take my moments and my days,
Let them flow in ceaseless praise,
Let them flow in ceaseless praise.

Take my hands, and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love;
Take my feet and let them be
Swift and beautiful for Thee,
Swift and beautiful for Thee.

Take my voice, and let me sing
Always, only, for my King;
Take my lips, and let them be
Filled with messages from Thee,
Filled with messages from Thee.

Take my silver and my gold;
Not a mite would I withhold;
Take my intellect, and use
Every power as Thou shalt choose,
Every power as Thou shalt choose.

Take my will, and make it Thine;
It shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart; it is Thine own;
It shall be Thy royal throne,
It shall be Thy royal throne.

Take my love; my Lord, I pour
At Thy feet its treasure-store.
Take myself, and I will be
Ever, only, all for Thee,
Ever, only, all for Thee.

~ Frances Ridley Havergal

Contemporary Hymn: Come, All Christians, Be Committed

Worship Together #646

Come all Christians be committed
To the service of the Lord
Make your lives for Him more fitted
Tune your hearts with one accord
Come into His courts with gladness
Each His sacred vows renew
Turn away from sin and sadness
Be transformed with life anew

Of your time and talents give Him
They are gifts from God above
To be used by Christians freely
To proclaim His wondrous love
Come again to serve the Savior
Tithes and off'rings with you bring
In your work with Him find favor
And with joy His praises sing

Come in praise and adoration
All who on Christ's name believe
Worship Him with consecration
Grace and love will you receive
For His grace give Him the glory
For the Spirit and the Word
And repeat the gospel story
Till the world His name has heard

~Eva B. Lloyd. Words copyright © 1958. Renewed 1986 Broadman Press (Admin. by Music Services, Inc.). CCLI Song # 25204. If you use this song in worship, be sure to report it on your CCLI license.

Tune suggestions:
Listen here: http://www.hymnary.org/tune/beach_spring

Contemporary Hymn: Worship and Work Must Be One

Worship the Lord (worship the Lord)
worship the Father, the Spirit, the Son,
raising our hands (raising our hands)
in devotion to God who is one!

Raising our hands as a sign of rejoicing,
and with our lips our togetherness voicing,
giving ourselves to a life of creativeness,
worship and work must be one!

Praying and training that we be a blessing,
and by our workmanship daily confessing:
we are committed to serving humanity,
worship and work must be one!

Called to be partners with God in creation,
honouring Christ as the Lord of the nation,
we must be ready for risk and for sacrifice,
worship and work must be one!

Bringing the bread and the wine to the table,
asking that we may be led and enabled,
truly united to build new communities,
worship and work must be one!

Now in response to the life you are giving,
help us, O Father, to offer our living,
seeking a just and a healing society,
worship and work must be one!

~ Fred Kaan.Copyright © 1974 Hope Publishing Company. If you use this song in worship, be sure to report it on your CCLI license.

Contemporary Song: Everyday

What to say Lord
It's You who gave me life
And I can't explain
Just how much You mean to me
Now that You have saved me Lord
I give all that I am to You
That everyday I can
Be a light that shines Your name

Everyday it's You I'll live for
Everyday I'll follow after You
Everyday I'll walk with You my Lord

Everyday Lord
I'll learn to stand upon Your Word
And I pray that I
I may come to know You more
That You would guide me
In every single step I take
That everyday I can be Your
Light unto the world

It's You I live for everyday
It's You I live for everyday
It's You I live for everyday

~ Joel Houston. Copyright © 1999 Hillsong Music Publishing (Admin. by EMI Christian Music Publishing). CCLI Song # 2798154. If you use this song in worship, be sure to report it on your CCLI license.

Listen to it here: http://www.worshiptogether.com/songs/songdetail.aspx?iid=1802242




This worship resource was created/compiled by Christine Longhurst. You are welcome to use it free of charge, and where appropriate, please note the source. If you are printing any of the resources for distribution, please print the source as well. The content of the worship resource does not necessarily represent the views of the Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches, which oversees the Centre for Mennonite Brethren Studies. For more worship resources by Christine Longhurst, see http://www.re-worship.blogspot.ca or http://www.re-worship.blogspot.ca or http://www.faithmatters.ca.">http://www.faithmatters.ca.

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