God, today, the First of May, I resonate with the voices of the oppressed labourers around the world–whether they labour in urban areas or in rural areas. I pray that the greedy systems of this world that continue to exploit the workers would eventually be dismantled and be replaced by farming, trade and industrial relationships that are characterized by justice and peace. I pray that more active non-violent advocates for justice be multiplied to speak and work to advance the rights of the workers around the world.
I also pray that we, who are employers, would balance our budget for the benefit of the workers and for the growth and expansion of our businesses, so that more workers would benefit in a genuine inclusive business characterized by justice and peace. I also pray for those of us, business people who claim to follow Jesus Christ, to really submit our businesses to be under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. May we remember the warning of the Apostle James, the Brother of Jesus, against the oppressive practices of the rich on the poor:
“Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming on you. Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. Look! The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered the innocent one, who was not opposing you.” (James 5:1-6 NIV)
God, I pray that the ordinary workers in the Philippines would enjoy the basic necessities in life–to eat three times a day, to live in a descent dwelling for human beings, to receive proper health care, to send their children to school, to have access to safe transportation systems, and to have time for family fellowship as they pray together and as they nourish each other as human beings. I pray that the employers would see their workers as part of the body of clients they also need to serve.
God, please start the employment transformation in our tiny business called Coffee For Peace, and in our small organization called Peacebuilders Community.
In the name of the Creator, and of the Christ, and of the Comforter. Amen.