A Gathering Voices post by TheThoughtfulChristian.com team.
Labor Day is this Monday. Here's a prayer to share with others for the day from Prayers for The New Social Awakening: Inspired by the New Social Creed (Westminster John Knox Press).
Against Cheap Labor by Walter Brueggemann
Since our mothers and fathers cried out,
since you heard their cries and noticed,
since we left the brick production of Egypt,
since you foiled the production schedules of Pharaoh,
we have known your name,
we have sensed your passion, we have treasured your vision of justice.
And now we turn to you again,
you whose precious name we know.
We turn to you because there are
still impossible production schedules,
still exploitative systems
still cried of pain at injustice,
still cheap labor that yields misery.
We turn to you in impatience and exasperation,
Before you answer our pleading question,
hear our petitions.
Since you are not a labor boss and do not set wages,
we bid you, stir up those who can change things:
in the jaded halls of government;
in the cynical offices of the corporations;
amid the voting public too anxious to care;
in the church that thinks too much about purity and not enough about wages.
Move, as you moved in ancient Egyptian days;
move the waters and the flocks and the herds
toward new statues and regulations,
new equity and health care,
new dignity that is not given on the cheap.
We have known now long since
that you reject cheap grace; we now know as well that you reject cheap labor.
You God of injustice and dignity and equity,
keep the promises you bodied in Jesus,
that the poor may be first-class members of society;
that the needy may have good care and respect;
that the poor earth may rejoice in well-being;
that we may all come to Sabbath rest together,
the owner and the worker,
the leisure class and the labor class,
all at rest in dignity and justice,
not on the cheap, but
in good measure,
running over . . . forgiven (Luke 6:37-38).