Embracing the Liturgy of Labor Day

In today’s hybrid work culture, Christians should recommit to the biblical rhythms of work and rest.

Over the past few years, many of us have unfortunately become familiar with descriptors like the Great Resignation and the Great Disengagement. Even if you have not heard these terms, you are likely familiar with their meaning.

The former describes the onslaught of people quitting their jobs due to all sorts of current socioeconomic and mental health reasons, while the latter points to people keeping their jobs but having a profound sense of emotional disengagement with their work. Sometimes referred to as “quiet quitting,” such disengagement is especially prevalent in the “helping professions” like the medical industry, the education field, and some forms of ministry.

Both trends are, to some degree, part of what author Jennifer Moss calls the “burnout epidemic” in her book on chronic stress. This problem has accompanied a wider acceptance of hybrid work culture in response to the COVID-19 epidemic—which has further blurred the boundaries between our professional and personal lives.

As a professor of organizational communication, I am fascinated with the way people communicate about work and how that impacts their overall quality of life. And as a Christian, I am especially interested in the degree to which believers understand work as part of our callings.

For those of us who feel especially called to a particular kind of work or who seek to bring a sense of calling into our work, a hybrid work culture can be even more complex. That is because there’s the added pull of holy responsibility on top of structural complexities—a relational commitment to the Caller that can drive us to ignore healthy boundaries.

This year, Labor Day celebrates 140 years of seeking to recognize …

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