This day has grown to mean very important but different things to groups of people around the world. In some countries, it’s a political celebration touting the merits of socialism or the strength of labor unions. The Communists notoriously celebrated the State and its collective workers in mass parades of military might.

Wiki breaks it down fairly thoroughly.

In response to that show of collectivism, Pope Pius XII instituted the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker in 1955 to re-focus attention on the dignity of the work of each individual, humbly done at the service of others.

In the current climate, groups are seizing on the day to add symbolism and gravity to their causes.

As the sun rises on May 1, an assembly is gathered before the Lincoln Memorial on the Mall of Washington with the purposeful theme “May Day: a Cry to God for Our Nation in Distress.”

“God didn’t call us to gather together to hear political speeches,” said Pastor Paul Blair, Pastor Coordinator for May Day, “he called us to humble ourselves and gather together to pray.” He added, “May Day is ‘Pray Day.’”

“This event is not to impress the media or the Washington ‘elite.’ May Day is focused on God–to cry out and repent of our nation’s sins that have brought us to this point of distress,” said Janet Porter, Faith2Action President and May Day Coordinator. “I believe the national repentance at May Day is essential to break the curses on our nation brought about by our choices of disobedience and death. The good news is repentance breaks a curse and a remnant can save a nation,” she added.

How quaint, say some of the same people who disparage that ‘remnant’ who ‘cling to their religion.’

Here’s what the people behind this May Day are saying:

“Our nation faces what is perhaps the most serious moral crisis since the civil war as we’ve turned our backs on God and have clearly displeased him,” Dr. James Dobson said in an invitation to Americans to attend the event. “May Day 2010 is a time to come together and proclaim what God has done in the past, to pray for forgiveness and to plead for God’s mercy on all of us.”

They will gather for one purpose: repentance.

The group will repent for how the nation has turned from God in every area of influence: 1) business 2) government, 3) media, 4) arts and entertainment, 5) education, 6) the family and 7) religion and invite God back into each area of Americans’ lives.

Chances are, you haven’t heard about this. But Christian groups have spread the word through church organizations and Christian media and social networking.

Likewise, Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, said he wants citizens to gather and join him in a show of solidarity at the Lincoln Memorial.

“America stands at a critical crossroad,” he said. “We have the opportunity to carry on the vision of the founders, or we can choose to allow radical political leaders to dismantle our liberty one policy at a time. I am hopeful that history will proclaim that when the battle raged on our watch, we stood firm and we carried the torch of freedom with courage. It is time to pray and act.”

It’s a new May Day.

Sheila Liaugminas

Sheila Liaugminas is an Emmy award-winning Chicago-based journalist in print and broadcast media. Her writing and broadcasting covers matters of faith, culture, politics and the media....