The unofficial “end” of summer is traditionally considered Labor Day, the first Monday of September. Labor Day began in this country the late 1800s to celebrate the American worker. The thought behind the celebration was, Where would our country be if we didn’t have such great people working every day? That sentiment is why Labor Day is a federal holiday.
Perhaps you’re still in the labor force, working hard to earn a living and provide for you and your family. Maybe you’re retired and no longer working for a living. It could be that you’ve never had a paying job (even though you still work hard!). But doesn’t everyone deserve a little time off? Don’t you feel like you deserve a break from your hard work, whether you’re paid or not?
Let’s think about “labor” from another angle. Are you weighed down as you try to figure out the true meaning of life? Do you ever doubt what comes after this life, what happens when you or someone you care about dies? Are the day-to-day struggles of this life getting to you? Is the “weight of the world” making your shoulders slump?
There is relief to be had! Jesus invites anyone who is tired of his labor to seek relief in him: “Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28; ESV). Jesus is obviously not offering to give you a vacation day here and there when you’re tired of working. He’s offering to take away what burdens you the most: your sin. All those things you are doing that you shouldn’t be doing; all those things you should be doing which you’re not. (Ask yourself: How do I stack up against the Ten Commandments?) Your sins are a burden because they ultimately bring death.
Jesus has taken away your burden of sin by his death on the cross. His resurrection from the dead guarantees your eternal life. In Jesus, you don’t just have a day off. You have an eternity with him in heaven.