When free time yields to sabbath—unplanned sacred time for rest, worship, or gathered community—our worlds are turned upside down, and we feel uncomfortable. Sabbath practices are not what our culture or economy teaches us to do with our time. Observing sabbath is scary because it means slowing down to examine what we’re doing with our lives, why we’re doing it, and who we are. Sabbath, when practiced regularly, makes us realize what we’ve called “living” isn’t actually living at all.
—J. Dana Trent, For Sabbath’s Sake: Embracing Your Need for Rest, Worship, and Community (Upper Room Books, 2017)
What feelings arise when you try to practice the counter-cultural ways of sabbath? Join the conversation.
If you stop trampling the Sabbath,
stop doing whatever you want on my holy day,
and consider the Sabbath a delight,
sacred to the LORD, honored,
and honor it instead of doing things your way,
seeking what you want and doing business as usual,
then you will take delight in the LORD.
—Isaiah 5813-14a (CEB)
Prayer for the Week
O God, our Creator and Redeemer, help me to realize my need for sabbath time in my busy life. Please give me a hunger for sabbath time so I can spend more time with you, my family, and my faith community. Amen.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.
SABBATH: An Ancient Practice Meets the Modern World is a new two-hour documentary that explores the history of one of the world’s most important spiritual practices and its timeless relevance for a stressed-out, modern world. This week’s featured author, J. Dana Trent, is one of the featured commentators in the film. Learn more at www.journeyfilms.com.
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.