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Saturday, June 19, 2010

Day 166: The laborers

Today's Reading: 1 Kings 9; 2Chronicles 8

We have heard of the splendor of all the places and buildings Solomon erected. We have heard of their grandeur, their ornamentation and their beauty. But today we hear of the human labor cost.

We hear of the forced labor.

How often do we hear of a building or a statue or a park whose designer is heralded the builder, but in truth, nameless people worked day in and day out, unnoticed, unnamed and unthanked.

I think of this every time I watch a movie. The stars get front billing. The director and the producer receive a nod. But at the end of the film as all the credits are rolling by naming the countless laborers, people are uninterested, putting on their coats, gathering their belongings and on to the next thing. The forgotten millions, billions and trillions of people who labor to make something great.

God puts a great responsibility upon Solomon: the success of this project lies in your faithfulness to me, its ability to stand the tests of time is dependent upon your purity and single minded adoration and obedience to my law. And so, the director and producer of such a great feat is named.

But imagine the great responsibility of the unnamed, the unthanked, the unnoticed. Their faithfulness to the smallest task determines the strength of the larger structure.

Jesus said, "There is a huge harvest needing laborers." We are called to labor diligently, faithfully and excellently whether anyone notices us or not. In fact, Jesus says, being unnoticed is something we should covet. Our service should be in secret as often as possible.

Let us pray for more laborers, for the task is great. But let us not fret when we go unnoticed by the human stream. God sees all and remembers all.

The servant girl who stitched the veil of the Holy of holies and the slave working in the brick pits.

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