the good way


A regular rhythm of Sabbath rest

As followers of Jesus, we believe that our work and our rest are both pleasing to God. Sabbath is a day blessed by God and set aside for us to stop working, to prioritize resting in him and to engage in activities that bring us delight.

“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy…For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” — Exodus 20:7-11

As human beings we have been wired for work, rest and play. Often we find ourselves exhausted and overwhelmed when we are not living with balance in these areas. In scripture God invited his people to engage in a 24 hour period of rest, and this was not supposed to be a legalistic practice but a life-giving one. Jesus himself said:

‘The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” — Mark 2:27

Sabbath helps us to remember that our value lies in who we are and not what we do. Engaging in a regular rhythm of Sabbath today is counter-cultural, particularly living in a city like New York. When we live this way we create a rhythm in our lives whereby our souls can be restored and renewed. Too often we seek rest in ways that are not actually restorative.

Pete Scazzero says that during Sabbath we:

Stop. Rest. Contemplate. Delight.

When we cultivate a rhythm of Sabbath rest, there will be activities that we will intentionally refrain from doing - such as work, running errands or shopping. This will create room for us to spend more time resting and lingering in God’s presence. It also gives us more space and time to intentionally engage in activities that inspire us, and allow us to experience beauty and delight.

The practice of Sabbath is also about cultivating a spirit of rest that we journey with throughout our entire week. We are invited to have moments of stopping, resting, contemplating and delighting throughout our entire week. Our practice of Sabbath should bleed into every day.

“People who keep Sabbath live all seven days differently.” — Walter Brueggemann

Session video

Personal Reflection

Take some time to reflect on the following questions:

  1. What gets in the way of me stopping and resting?
  2. What activities or practices make me feel the most rested?
  3. How do I experience beauty and delight?
  4. What awakens in me a sense of wonder or worship?
  5. What is my current practice of Sabbath and what is God’s invitation to me?
  6. How can I champion the Sabbath rest of others?

Stories of sabbath

Session Resources

To go further with this session, take a look at some of the following activities, readings and other resources: