Thursday, May 06, 2010

The Essence of Sabbath

I finally had to return my copy of Mark Buchanan's The Rest of God: Restoring your Soul by Restoring Sabbath. I copied down huge chunks of it into my journal. I may still have to buy a copy for myself... and maybe a few more to pass on to friends and supporters. It's a great book. Here's a taste:
“The root idea of Sabbath is simple as rain falling, basic as breathing. It’s that all living things – and many nonliving things too – thrive only by an ample measure of stillness.” (p. 60)

“There are two main things that make Sabbath an invented country, a place we read about but never get to. One is busyness. The other is legalism.” (p. 106).

“Sabbath-keeping is more art than science. It is more poetry than arithmetic. It is something we get a knack for more than memorize procedures about. It is like a painting: done by numbers, it comes off stiff and blotchy. But done with discipline and imagination, it both captures and enhances life.” (p. 111)

“I submit this as Sabbath’s golden rule: cease from what is necessary. Embrace that which gives life.” (p. 129)

“If there’s one god of the age that Christians especially pay homage to, it’s the god of utility…. Everything we do we seek to justify on the grounds of its usefulness....What’s missing is a theology of play. There are many things – eating ice cream, diving off cliffs, sleeping in Saturday mornings, learning bird calls, watching movies – that can’t be shoehorned into a utilitarian scheme… but they might make us feel more alive, more ourselves, and that’s useful enough.” (pp. 138-139)

“Jesus’ Sabbath-keeping always looked, to his enemies, like Sabbath breaking… he was simply fulfilling the day’s true intent.

“'The Sabbath,’ Jesus said, ‘was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.’ (Mark 2:27)

“And that, actually, is all we need to know to keep the Sabbath holy. This day was made for us. God gave it to you and me for our sake, for our benefit, for our strengthening and our replenishment.” (p. 219)

> Listen to Dale Flanders' sermon Restless, largely based on this book.

No comments: