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When we fail to rest we do more than burn ourselves out. We ...
When we fail to rest we do more than burn ourselves out. We misunderstand the God who calls us to rest--who created us to be people of rest. Let's face it: our rest needs work.
Sabbath recalls our creation, and with it God's satisfaction with us as he made us, without our hurried wrangling and harried worrying. It also recalls God's deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt, and with it God's ability to do completely what we cannot complete in ourselves. Sabbath keeping reminds us that we are free to rest each week.
Eighteen months in Tel Aviv, Israel, where a weekly sabbath is built into the culture, began Lynne M. Baab's twenty-five-year embrace of a rhythm of rest—as a stay-at-home mom, as a professional writer working out of her home and as a minister of the gospel. With collected insights from sabbath keepers of all ages and backgrounds, Sabbath Keeping offers a practical and hopeful guidebook that encourages all of us to slow down and enjoy our relationship with the God of the universe.
Posted May 28, 2007
As a pastor, this year I wanted to offer small group gatherings to prepare for Easter. Everyone who heard of my plan gave me the same answer: 'It sounds like a great idea, but we just don't have time.' I was ready to take another look at Lynne Baab's book, Sabbath Keeping. Baab weaves through the book her conviction that the sabbath is a gift to be received and enjoyed. She sets out the purpose of the sabbath as, '...to clear away the distractions of our lives so we can rest in God and experience God's grace in a new way.' She deftly avoids the potential of legalism in sabbath keeping by encouraging each reader to consider what a day of rest would look like to him or to her. She suggests the possibility of refraining from whatever might appear on a 'to do' list during the rest of the week, or whatever feels like work. Gardening, for example, could be a wonderful expression of sabbath rest for one person. Others might look forward to a day of giving no thought to weeds or fertilizer. The book moves from dealing with common misunderstandings of the sabbath to the author's own introduction to sabbath keeping, and on to such practical issues as when and how to celebrate a sabbath, and confronting the obstacles that might come up in keeping up a practice that runs so counter to our 24-7 culture. Baab's own decades of sabbath keeping, along with her study of the subject and interviews with more than a hundred sabbath keepers keep the book practical. Sabbath keeping looks different for a young family than for a single person. An introvert will not experience sabbath rest in the same way that an extrovert does. A retired person, one with a Monday-Friday job, and someone who works varied days and shifts will each experience sabbath differently. Each reader will find examples that fit his or her situation. I particularly appreciated the sense of lightness, of freedom in the book, the openness to experiment with sabbath practices for a few months and then to try something different. Each chapter ends with questions for reflection and discussion, and with prayer suggestions related to some aspect of Sabbath keeping. With eight chapters, it is just right for a family, a couple of friends, or a small group to go through in two months of weekly meetings.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 20, 2005
This book is an easy read, but packed full of practical wisdom about keeping the Sabbath. It helped me see how the ancient tradition of Sabbath-keeping can benefit us in the fast-paced world we live in today. Lynne recognizes the vast differences in each of our lives, and has ideas and suggestions that we can each apply in the way that works for us. If you want an easy way to understand how observing the Sabbath can bring joy to your life, just set aside a morning to do nothing but sit on the couch with this book and a cup of coffee or tea. You'll be changed after the experience!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.