Reading of a Psalm for Labor Day

The Living Psalms project of the United Church of Christ begins again with September 1. Psalms interpreted to speak a word of justice, resistance and hope in the midst of our world. The Living Psalms team took a break from Pentecost to the present. During September the writers will choose between psalms used in the Revised Common Lectionary and Psalms for the Season of Creation.

This gift is in addition to the wide offering of weekly worship resources found in Worship Ways here

The Creation Season usually is four weeks before October so September 1 is a “free” day and this interpretation of the Psalm lifts up the holiday in the United States of Labor Day.

Psalm 81 for Labor Day

Sing to God — rhythm and blues, country, rap,
for we hear the voice of God —

“I relieved your shoulder of the burden
and your hands were freed from the basket.”

raise a tune — reggae, techno, rock, gospel —

“I relieved your shoulder of the burden
and your hands were freed from the basket.”

pick up the tambourine and the bass guitar —

“I relieved your shoulder of the burden
and your hands were freed from the basket.”

For this was Exodus
a day to release those worked unjustly
and bring them to a new safe place.

And this is a new Exodus
a day for domestic workers, for migrant workers,
for prep cooks in the food industry,
for housekeepers in motels,
for garment workers, trafficked workers,
for workers with mandatory overtime,
for workers of three jobs, no benefits,
for workers in dangerous conditions.

For we hear the voice of God —
I will give you finest wheat;
from the rock I give you honey.

And we sing it — bread and roses.

*Bread and Roses Strike 1912, Lawrence Textile Mills,
song based on a poem by James Oppenheimer

As-we-come-marching-marching-in-the-beauty-of-the-day-a-million-darkened-kitchens-a-thousand-mill-lofts-gray. workers-marching-during- the Bread and Roses Strike

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2 Responses to Reading of a Psalm for Labor Day

  1. Thank you Maren. I’ll plan to include my blog prayers at
    “Park and Pray at 1:11”

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