Sen. James Kyle of South Dakota introduced a bill to make Labor Day a legal holiday on the first Monday of September each year. It was approved June 28, 1894.
Labor Day is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.
The vital force of labor added materially to the highest standard of living and the greatest production the world has ever known and has brought us closer to the realization of our traditional ideals of economic and political democracy. It is appropriate, therefore, that the nation pay tribute on Labor Day to the creator of so much of the nation’s strength — the American worker.
The form that the observance of Labor Day should take was outlined in the first proposal of the holiday — a street parade to exhibit to the public “the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations” of the community, followed by a festival for the recreation of the workers and their families.
Since the very first celebration, Labor Day has been a time for families to relax and have fun.
But labor and Labor Day is not a human invention. Both are reflections of God’s will.
Work is a God-appointed function of human life according to Genesis. We should work to fulfill the intention of our Creator for human existence. Work is God’s ordinance for humanity. God has invested work with dignity since He himself accomplished the work of creation and accomplishes the work of providence and redemption. God is the supreme worker.
But we should remember that God has also appointed a day of rest for humanity. Exodus 20:8-10 explains: “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the LORD your God….”
So, on this Labor Day weekend, celebrate with family and friends on Labor Day . . . but don’t forget to rest and worship the Lord on “the Lord’s Day,” Sunday.