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Keri Wyatt Kent invites readers to rediscover the ancient practice of Sabbath in this practical and accessible book. Kent’s experiences as a retreat leader and a journalist collide as she offers true, interview-based stories along with scripturally based advice and guidance on how to live in a rhythm of work and rest she calls “Sabbath simplicity.” Based on what Jesus taught about Sabbath and how he practiced it, Kent explores six aspects of Sabbath as Christian spiritual practice: resting, reconnecting, revising, pausing, playing, and praying. These are the antidote to our restlessness, isolation, and our hurried lives, workaholism, and self-absorption. Living a nonlegalistic, sanely paced, God-focused life leads us to freedom and grace, joy and connection. A group study guide is included, making this book an excellent choice for small groups.
|Product dimensions:||5.30(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.70(d)|
|Age Range:||18 Years|
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Living in Sabbath Simplicity
By Keri Wyatt Kent
Copyright © 2009
Keri Wyatt Kent
All right reserved.
Chapter One shaking things up
What Jesus Said about Sabbath
Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. -Jesus (Matt. 5:17)
What did Jesus teach about the Sabbath? Something shifted tremendously in how people followed God after Jesus walked our planet. Although the roots of the Christian faith are in Judaism, the way that modern Christians keep Sabbath, or don't, looks quite different from the way ancient Jews did. Jesus said he came not to abolish the law but to fulfill it. But really, that fulfillment changed a lot about how people lived out their faith.
Why? We have the same Old Testament Scriptures. Jesus, it seems, created this seismic shift that affected how God's law would be lived out. Sabbath is not the only law that was affected, but that's where we'll focus for now.
a new yoke
Even when Jesus walked the earth, people were aware that he was shaking things up. The gospel writers often tell us that people marveled at Jesus' teaching because he spoke with "authority."
Commenting on the rabbinic tradition and this idea of authority, pastor and author Rob Bell writes, "Different rabbis had different sets of rules, which were really different lists of what they forbade and what they permitted. A rabbi's set of rules and lists, which was really that rabbi's interpretation of how to live the Torah, was called that rabbi's yoke. When you followed a certain rabbi, you were following him because you believed that rabbi's set of interpretations were the closest to what God intended through the Scriptures. And when you followed that rabbi, you were taking up that rabbi's yoke."
Bell continues, "Most rabbis taught the yoke of a rabbi who had come before them.... Every once in a while, a rabbi would come along who was teaching a new yoke, a new way of interpreting the Torah. This was rare and extraordinary.... Now imagine if a rabbi who had a new perspective on the Torah was coming to town. This rabbi who was making new interpretations of the Torah was said to have authority. The Hebrew word for 'authority' is shmikah. This might not even happen in your lifetime. You would hike for miles to hear him. A rabbi who taught with shmikah would say things like, 'You have heard it said ..., but I tell you ...' What he was saying is, 'You have heard people interpret that verse this way, but I tell you that this is what God really means in that verse.'"
So Jesus offered this new yoke, which he claimed is easy. But in a way, it seems harder. He often began with "you've heard it said" and cited the Old Testament law. Then he followed with "but I say to you." For example, he said, "You've heard it said, 'Don't commit adultery.' But I say, 'If you look at a woman with lust, you've already slept with her'" (Matt. 5:27-28, my paraphrase). And, "You've heard it said, 'Don't murder.' But if you call someone a fool or hate them, you've killed them" (Matt. 5:21-22).
Jesus was saying that this is what God really means by that verse. His teaching encouraged people to hold to a higher standard than mere legalism but also helped them to realize that keeping the law perfectly is an impossible proposition. Examining ourselves in light of the spirit of the law, rather than the letter, points us to our desperate need for grace. Jesus exhorted his listeners to examine their hearts, their attitudes, as well as their actions. He challenged his listeners to bring outward practice and inner reality into alignment. This again directed his most attentive listeners toward grace, not more careful legalism.
Here's what I've noticed, though. Jesus never used the "you've heard it said, but I say to you" formula to discuss Sabbath. He didn't, for example, say, "You've heard it said, 'Keep the Sabbath holy.' But I say ..." And he definitely never said, "You've heard it said, 'Keep the Sabbath on the seventh day,' but I tell you, 'Switch it to the first day.'"
Why is that? Did he say it and it somehow just didn't get written down? Was his teaching on Sabbath edited out of the biblical record?
Jesus did criticize the Pharisees for piling rules onto the people, burdening them with lists of what they couldn't do, not just on Sabbath but in regard to all sorts of regulations and man-made traditions. He accused them of valuing their traditions over the law, saying, "You nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition," and quoted Isaiah 29:3 to condemn them (see Matt. 15:1-20).
He handed out insults to Pharisees and scribes alike, saying, "You experts in the law, woe to you, because you load people down with burdens they can hardly carry, and you yourselves will not lift one finger to help them" (Luke 11:46).
While he didn't use his "you've heard it said, but I say" formula to teach about Sabbath, he did find all sorts of teachable moments to instruct his followers, and his critics, about Sabbath. Usually this happened when he defended his choices to heal people, cast out demons, or engage in other questionable activities on the Sabbath. Not surprisingly, he focused on aligning our hearts with our actions.
He did say, "The Sabbath was made for people, not people for the Sabbath." And he claimed to be the Lord of the Sabbath. But what does that mean? Does it set us free only from the ceremonial aspects of the law, or from the law entirely?
The thing Jesus seemed to get in trouble for most was breaking the Sabbath, at least in the eyes of the legalists of his day. They watched him closely, seemingly in hopes he would slip up and break the rules, although he hardly seemed interested in hiding his actions from them. In fact, he tried over and over to teach them about the heart of Sabbath, asking, "Don't you on the Sabbath untie your donkey and let him have a drink, or pull your sheep out of a pit?" to point out that compassion is never against God's rules (see Luke 13:15; Matt. 12:11).
Norman Wirzba writes, "Jesus does not obliterate Sabbath teaching but reframes it so that we can see once again, with renewed emphasis, what creation's ultimate meaning is."
Jesus came to die for us, but also to live for us, to show us how to live. He modeled spiritual practices like solitude, prayer, and compassion. If you are someone's disciple, you try to emulate them, try to live as they would. And Jesus kept Sabbath. Not in the way his culture expected, perhaps. He exercised great freedom. If we are his disciples, we will take on his yoke. We will live in this life-giving rhythm of work and rest. Jesus kept Sabbath in a new way, a way that shook things up. As his disciples, we can keep Sabbath too. And apparently we're free to shake things up as well.
Jesus shakes things up
In just the first three chapters of Mark's gospel, we find three Sabbath stories. Two take place in the synagogue, one out in a field. Without using the words "you've heard it said, but I say," Jesus still manages to teach a new way of looking at Sabbath.
Let's look at the first passage.
They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law. Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an evil spirit cried out, "What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are-the Holy One of God!"
"Be quiet!" said Jesus sternly. "Come out of him!" The evil spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek.
The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, "What is this? A new teaching-and with authority! He even gives orders to evil spirits and they obey him." News about him spread quickly over the whole region of Galilee.
As soon as they left the synagogue, they went with James and John to the home of Simon and Andrew. Simon's mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they immediately told Jesus about her. So he went to her, took her hand and helped her up. The fever left her and she began to wait on them.
That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed. The whole town gathered at the door, and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons, but he would not let the demons speak because they knew who he was. -Mark 1:21-34
Okay, so what did Jesus' Sabbath look like? He taught at synagogue and cast out a demon. But what were the people more amazed by? It would seem that his teaching was just as amazing as the trick of casting out the demon. Again, the people are amazed by his shmikah, his authority. He spoke without footnotes to a people hungry for truth. Perhaps the encounter with the demon was just his way of getting rid of a distraction so that he could continue teaching. But for the people, it was further evidence of that authority.
But what did the rest of Jesus' Sabbath look like? What did he do? After ser vices, he went over to Simon's house. Simon's mother-in-law was sick, but Jesus healed her. The next sentence says she began to "wait on them," or as the King James Version says, she began "to minister to them."
In the Greek, the word is diakoneo, which can mean "to serve a meal" but also means "to minister." It's the same word used to describe the ministry done by a deacon in the church, and the same word used in Matthew 4:11 when, after Jesus' time of tempting in the wilderness, angels came and "ministered" to him. So perhaps Simon's mother-in-law helped her daughter and the other women prepare a meal, but the original text does not appear to mean that she waited on them hand and foot all day. Rather, she was restored so that she could fully participate in the ministry of community in her home. She was free to be an active member of the body, to enjoy the fellowship that Jesus and his disciples shared.
The next paragraph begins, "That evening after sunset." The Sabbath ended at sunset. But between the healing of Peter's mother-in-law and sunset, there is a time gap in the text. So what happened between lunch and sunset? What did Jesus do then? My guess is that he rested. Maybe he took a nap. Maybe he just enjoyed talking with his disciples or with the women of the house. (Since Simon had a mother-in-law, we can safely assume he had a wife, although she's not mentioned.) The text doesn't say, but is it possible that on that afternoon, Jesus hung out with his friends? That Jesus just rested, in the context of community?
Jesus came to earth to show us a way to live. He taught us how to pray, how to love, how to forgive-by doing it. And in this passage and others, he taught us how to spend time with friends, to enjoy gifts like a good meal and friendship. He modeled Sabbath rest.
Lord of the Sabbath
Just a few pages later, we find the other two Sabbath stories, which again point us to Jesus' radical revision of the Sabbath code. It's interesting that Mark puts these two stories, which seem to happen on two different days, back-to-back in his narrative.
One Sabbath Jesus was going through the grain fields, and as his disciples walked along, they began to pick some heads of grain. The Pharisees said to him, "Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?"
He answered, "Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need? In the days of Abiathar the high priest, he entered the house of God and ate the consecrated bread, which is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions."
Then he said to them, "The Sabbath was made for people, not people for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath." -Mark 2:23-28
Another time Jesus went into the synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Some of them were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal him on the Sabbath. Jesus said to the man with the shriveled hand, "Stand up in front of everyone."
Then Jesus asked them, "Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?" But they remained silent.
He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored. Then the Pharisees went out and began to plot with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus. -Mark 3:1-6
Jesus, being a rabbi, would teach in the synagogue in Capernaum, his hometown. Inevitably, people who needed healing would show up. And Jesus would heal them, and then the Pharisees would get so mad they'd huddle in a corner, like robed mafia leaders, to talk about how they could take Jesus out.
Those Pharisees were schooled in the Scriptures, so much so that they had much or all of the Hebrew Torah (the first five books of what we know as the Old Testament) committed to memory-chapter and verse. So sometimes Jesus alluded to Old Testament Scriptures, perhaps doing that "you've heard it said, but I say" thing in a more subtle way. Even the words that Jesus used to heal the man do this. He could have said, "Be healed," or whatever. Instead he said, "Stretch out your hand." The Deuteronomy version of the fourth commandment gives freedom as the reason for keeping Sabbath: "Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the Lord your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm" (Deut. 5:15).
I wonder if Jesus intended this man's "outstretched arm" and his now "mighty hand" to remind the Pharisees of something.
Why did the Pharisees want to kill Jesus? Because he violated Sabbath laws? Because they felt threatened by his popularity? Did they plot against him because he claimed to be the Messiah but didn't match their preconceptions of a messiah? Was it because they thought his interpretation of Scripture was wrong? Because he exposed their hypocrisy? Whatever the reason, everywhere he went, the Pharisees seemed to show up, looking for ways to accuse him.
You'd expect them to be in the synagogue, but in a field when Jesus and his friends are just walking along? Doesn't that seem odd? Didn't they have anything better to do, especially on Sabbath? Like ... rest? Why were they out stalking Jesus that day? Didn't that violate Sabbath too?
Could it be that Jesus didn't have to say "you've heard it said" about the Sabbath because he simply showed people a radically different approach to Sabbath-keeping? So radical, in fact, that religious people wanted to kill him?
What was Jesus saying with his actions, his infuriating, confusing actions? Even when confronted for, say, healing someone, he answered in riddles: if you have an ox, he said, don't you untie him and give him a drink of water on the Sabbath? (See Luke 13:15.) Healing someone, he said, is just untying them from what has held them in bondage. He pointed people back beyond the traditions and rules to the heart of God. He asked them to revise their thinking on what it means to obey God.
Here's what Jesus seemed to be saying with his actions: "You've heard it said to keep the Sabbath holy, which you've done by avoiding certain tasks. But I say to you, 'Keep the Sabbath by engaging in relationship, by restoring people to community, to wholeness, by setting people free.'"
In John 5, Jesus got even more assertive about being the Lord of the Sabbath. When religious leaders asked why he was working on the Sabbath, he said, basically, it was because he is God. He went to the pool at Bethesda, where he healed a man on the Sabbath.
So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jewish leaders began to persecute him. In his defense Jesus said to them, "My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working." For this reason they tried all the more to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.
Excerpted from Rest by Keri Wyatt Kent Copyright © 2009 by Keri Wyatt Kent. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
Introduction: Living in Sabbath Simplicity 9
1 Shaking things up: What Jesus Said about Sabbath 15
2 Resting: A Release from Our Restlessness 27
3 Reconnecting: A Rescue from Isolation 55
4 Revising: A Shift from Rut to Rhythm 91
5 Pausing: A Retreat from Our 24/7 World 129
6 Playing: An Escape from Workaholism 157
7 Praying: An Antidote for Self-Absorption 177
Reading group guide 207
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
"You do not have to be an Olympic-level Sabbath keeper. The Sabbath was made for people, Jesus said. It's a tool you can use to become healthier spiritually - more connected with the God who loves you, more peaceful, more joyful. Not perfectly any of those things. Just healthier." This is what I loved most about Keri Wyatt Kent's book "Rest"... It allows you to explore the gift of Sabbath rest without making you feel guilty because you can't do it perfectly. Keri gives practical examples of ways you could keep the Sabbath at various seasons in your life, even if it starts with just choosing to serve leftovers that day instead of cooking a full meal. Sabbath-keeping can be a journey that begins with a few small steps. It seems like a lot of thought went into this book: it is as if Keri read most of the classic literature on Sabbath-keeping, then made those ideas accessable to the modern soccer mom. The book also highlights a study on how top athletic performers gain their strength from the routines of rest they incorporate into their game. It is a book written for people who are, as Keri says, "afraid of taking a break, perhaps because we are afraid the world might stop spinning if we get off the treadmill." In other words, it is a book written for most of us.
Yet again, Keri Wyatt Kent has written a book that inspires change in my life. "Rest" is a gentle and biblical reminder that the Sabbath is not an antiquated idea, but an always relevant and important spiritual practice which is commanded by a God who loves us.
I love that she emphasizes the freedom of Sabbath; that it is not a list of unrealistic or legalistic rules, but an encouragement to stop and recognize and celebrate God's place in our lives, our relationships, our jobs, and our world in whatever ways we can. While still keeping her characteristic gentle voice, Kent brings the reader to realize that christians need to move beyond a life where our relationships with God are pushed into a convenient corner as we go through the busy-ness of our days. Sabbath, Kent teaches, "is a day to rest and refresh ourselves, but it is so much more. It is a day to remember. Our remembering creation, deliverance and salvation points us toward remembering the deep love God has for us."
Perhaps the best compliment I have for this book is that our family just celebrated our first Sabbath together last Sunday after I finished this book. My family is already preparing for and looking forward to this Sunday's sabbath...a time to slow down, reflect, think of others, relax, and remember God's blessings in our lives. This book can change your family's weekly rhythm to match the rhythm God designed for us from the beginning, and I highly recommend it.
I found this book to be inspiring and also practical in my quest to start the practice of Sabbath. It includes ideas from families in all different stages in life. Just reading it was a rest, the writing is easy and yet deep.
It seems like most of my life has been lived in a rush, but it wasn't always that way. I grew up in a Christian home where my parents rested (read: took a nap) on Sundays and all Sabbath really meant to me back then was that I had to be extra careful not to slam doors on Sunday afternoons or my dad would wake up cranky and yell. Now that I'm the same age he was, I'm beginning to understand the value of a Sunday afternoon nap, and the value of deliberately taking a Sabbath. In Rest, Keri Wyatt's winsome book on the value of living in Sabbath simplicity, she quotes Kent Kingston, who grew up in a Sabbath-keeping family: "When you've been keeping Sabbath since childhood, something happens in your brain at sunset on Friday when you realize the busyness of the week is over...a sense of calm settles on your mind and the muscle knots begin to unwind. The problems of the everyday are put on hold--bills, school assignments, work deadlines, renovation projects. And because you know you won't be dealing with any of these things for the next 24 hours, you just forget about them. It's the greatest feeling." I've been choosing to keep a Sabbath for a couple of years now, and Kingston is right. I look forward to it all week. When it arrives, it's like time slows down and my sense of urgency and rushing goes on pause. Everything tastes better, smells better, and I live in the moment, savoring friends, family, my home, my yard, my book. It's a guilt-free day (and who doesn't need more of those? Especially moms?) And I wouldn't trade it for the world. Our God is a Creator-God, a great Intellect, a Founder and Sustainer and Savior...and yet He's personal. He's practical. And He cares about the small things. Like naps. Thanks, Keri, for a book that reminds us of how good our God is and how the times and seasons He's put in place are for our pleasure and care. Read REST, and create that sacred space in your week.
What does it mean to keep the Sabbath holy in today's overscheduled society? Keri Wyatt Kent explores this question in Rest. Kent takes a practical, non-legalistic approach to the 4th commandment. The 7 chapters of Rest talk about why we should set the Sabbath apart and how to do so within our unique life stages.I found Rest to be an inspiring easy-read that caused me to revisit how I spend my Sundays. The open-ended questions at the back of the book helped me reflect on each chapter.I think this book would make a perfect Bible study with a small group. If you normally have studies that last more than 7 weeks, take the weeks after you are done with the book and use them to apply what you have learned. The group could then take the study time to hold each other accountable and share what changes they have experienced.
Rest _ Living in Sabbath Simplicity by Keri Wyatt Kent is a well thought out, well researched book on Sabbath-keeping. Keri writes just seven chapters, and each is on a different aspect of Sabbath, shaking things up, resting, reconnecting, revising, pausing, playing, and praying. It is a book that will encourage you to evaluate your own personal thoughts and actions regarding Sabbath keeping. Keri teaches by example, honestly sharing her own personal experiences and struggles with her readers. I have not personally practiced Sabbath, or I did not think I was with my traditional view of Sabbath, but I was encouraged to know that several activities that I participate in are ways to practice Sabbath. Keri understands the demands that we put on ourselves, but she makes a great case for incorporating the practice into your life rhythm, freely admitting that at certain seasons during the year the practice has to be adapted to fit within family activities. She give great examples of how you can start to incorporate the practice into your life (take a nap, go for a walk with your family), and you may find that you already have elements of this in your life. Keri does not promote that Sabbath is a legalistic practice, but one that has the ability to refresh your life and your relationships with others and God. This was a "breath of fresh air" book, where I was encouraged and challenged to think broader about what Sabbath really is, a day to spend time with God and others, so that I can be better equipped to handle the coming week.
Prior to reading Keri Wyatt Kent's latest book, my Sabbath day included many must do's...but rest never made the cut. Instead, bickering and panic were part of my Sunday morning routine as I crammed too many activities into the early hours of the day and then rushed to get everyone to church. I also used the Sabbath day as my day to prepare for the coming week...to try to do things to make my life easier for the next six days.Through her tender-hearted and well researched writing, Keri encourages her readers to view the Sabbath as both God's gift to them and as an opportunity to recconnect with the Creator and those we love. She explains not only why it is an important commandment to keep in our fast-paced society, but that it is also one that is not as difficult to respect as we sometimes think it is.I appreciated that this book did not contain a list of do's and don'ts and instead offered helpful suggestions to use the Sabbath as a time to refresh, refuel, and rejuvinate.Rest, was indeed a life-changing read...for me and my family.
I purchased this book hoping to gain advice on how to actually have a day of rest. I'm not Jewish but this book is an excellent guide for anyone wanting to relax on the holy day of the week.
Prior to reading Keri Wyatt Kent's latest book, my Sabbath day included many must do's...but rest never made the cut. Instead, bickering and panic were part of my Sunday morning routine as I crammed too many activities into the early hours of the day and then rushed to get everyone to church. I also used the Sabbath day as my day to prepare for the coming week...to try to do things to make my life easier for the next six days.
Through her tender-hearted and well researched writing, Keri encourages her readers to view the Sabbath as both God's gift to them and as an opportunity to recconnect with the Creator and those we love. She explains not only why it is an important commandment to keep in our fast-paced society, but that it is also one that is not as difficult to respect as we sometimes think it is.
I appreciated that this book did not contain a list of do's and don'ts and instead offered helpful suggestions to use the Sabbath as a time to refresh, refuel, and rejuvinate.
Rest, was indeed a life-changing read...for me and my family.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Keri Kent's book, Rest: Living in Sabbath Simplicity. I too feel very strongly that we are missing out on something relationally with God that He deems important and that is needed by us. I've often been struck by the fact that the Sabbath commandment is listed in the Ten Commandments, right alongside, "You shall not murder," and, "You shall not commit adultery." That command is often overlooked as it is not as concrete and takes time and relationship to work out what "Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy", means to you and your family. Yet, we are called to do that. To be obedient, getting to the heart of what that means, beyond the traditions and rules of Sabbath.
On p. 67 Keri writes: "The Sabbath command, though, is not a anomaly. It is the hinge, the piece upon which all the other commandments hang, for it is about loving God and loving others. It provides a segue between God-focused and the others-focused commandments." Those who crave to know God through His Word, need to take the time to explore what this means. Keri's book is a great tool in giving some historical backgournd. It also looks at current ways various people and families have focused on Sabbath keeping. She gives examples, ideas and questions to think about as your heart is molded into knowing what God has for you in your very personal Sabbath Rest.
I have read all of Keri Wyatt Kent's books, and have always been impressed with her spiritual insight. REST is no exception! I had the privilege of reading the galley (a book draft - before it's final printing) and was so thrilled with its content.
Despite being an easy, enjoyable read.....this book is extremely thought-provoking and you will be able to gleam much inspiration whether you are a committed Christian, Jewish believer, Spiritual seeker, or just human! Who can argue that in this fast-paced, technology-crazed, fast-paced culture they don't need to take a break ocassionally?!
Buy this book now...you will not be sorry!
Rest ¿ Living in Sabbath Simplicity by Keri Wyatt Kent is a well thought out, well researched book on Sabbath-keeping. Keri writes just seven chapters, and each is on a different aspect of Sabbath, shaking things up, resting, reconnecting, revising, pausing, playing, and praying. It is a book that will encourage you to evaluate your own personal thoughts and actions regarding Sabbath keeping. Keri teaches by example, honestly sharing her own personal experiences and struggles with her readers. I have not personally practiced Sabbath, or I did not think I was with my traditional view of Sabbath, but I was encouraged to know that several activities that I participate in are ways to practice Sabbath. Keri understands the demands that we put on ourselves, but she makes a great case for incorporating the practice into your life rhythm, freely admitting that at certain seasons during the year the practice has to be adapted to fit within family activities. She give great examples of how you can start to incorporate the practice into your life (take a nap, go for a walk with your family), and you may find that you already have elements of this in your life. Keri does not promote that Sabbath is a legalistic practice, but one that has the ability to refresh your life and your relationships with others and God. This was a ¿breath of fresh air¿ book, where I was encouraged and challenged to think broader about what Sabbath really is, a day to spend time with God and others, so that I can be better equipped to handle the coming week.
¿Rest¿ is an inspirational call to remember one of God¿s commandments ¿ resting on the seventh day. Through stories from families, other authors and the Bible, Keri Wyatt Kent examines why Sabbath is something that is as relevant today as it was in the Old Testament. By stopping one day out of the week, we can realize that not only does it give us a chance to rest and refuel, but we can also refocus on what is really important in our lives ¿ our families and our Savior. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking to escape from the "hurry" of today's society!
What does it mean to keep the Sabbath holy in today¿s overscheduled society? Keri Wyatt Kent explores this question in Rest. Kent takes a practical, non-legalistic approach to the 4th commandment. The 7 chapters of Rest talk about why we should set the Sabbath apart and how to do so within our unique life stages.
I found Rest to be an inspiring easy-read that caused me to revisit how I spend my Sundays. The open-ended questions at the back of the book helped me reflect on each chapter.
I think this book would make a perfect Bible study with a small group. If you normally have studies that last more than 7 weeks, take the weeks after you are done with the book and use them to apply what you have learned. The group could then take the study time to hold each other accountable and share what changes they have experienced.
Keri Wyatt Kent's book called Rest is definitive about a specific spiritual discipline, the idea of Sabboth keeping, but she doesn't come across as rigid or unbending in her writing. She gives freedom as she shares her own exploration of the discipline and then gives guidelines for those who need to stop the busyness and open themselves up to God's rest. You will find yourself thinking of ways you can slow down to enjoy life instead of constantly running around and never stopping. You will definitely enjoy Kent's latest work. Buy it for yourself or for a friend. Rest would also be wonderful as a women's Bible study.