United Church of Christ

A Slogan for All Seasons

The high priest said to them, "We told you plainly not to teach in the name of Jesus. But look what you have done! You have been teaching all over Jerusalem, and you are trying to blame us for his death."  Peter and the apostles replied: "We don't obey people. We obey God. You killed Jesus by nailing him to a cross. But the God our ancestors worshiped raised him to life and made him our Leader and Savior." - Acts 5:27-31, CEV

Today is Workers Memorial Day, which has the slogan: Remember the dead – Fight for the living. Fits in easily with the Easter season, don't you think?

It just so happens that the day before I wrote this devotional, one of my members lifted up the names of two of his colleagues killed in separate traffic accidents in a matter of days—Trooper Ellis and Trooper Jones-Story (ashé)—during the Prayers of the People. The intercessor also reminded us of the risks faced daily by those working on busy roads and dangerous highways and asked us to pray for them. So it seems that the slogan Remember the dead – Fight for the living can be appropriate in any season.

The more I say it to myself the more it feels like a mantra. Remember the dead – Fight for the living.

In my holy imagination, I believe Peter and the apostles had a similar mantra—a daily prayer deeply grounded in obedience to God and in grateful response to Jesus' call.

Prayer

God, we remember all workers today. Forgive us for the ways in which we take workers for granted. Give us the courage and wisdom to ensure safe and healthy working conditions for all. May we always remain obedient to Your rule of love and justice. Amen.

About the Author
Marilyn Pagán-Banks serves as Pastor of San Lucas UCC, Executive Director of A Just Harvest and Adjunct Professor at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago.

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