Saturday, May 19, 2012
Baab, L.M. Sabbath Keeping.
I have enjoyed this book which was lent to me and have read it twice. It gave me rest.
I have taken some notes in order that I remember some of the points which were so helpful to me. I have not included all the wonderful information as I would recommend that if this is something which you would like to learn more about; that you go out and buy the book. Click on the book cover above for more information.
I hope that my notes make sense to you...
God made the Sabbath for us. When we live the way that God wants us to we operate in the most optimal, efficient way.
The sabbath teaches us grace because it connects us experientially to the basic truth that nothing we do will earn God's love (we are given it freely).
"During a day of rest we have the chance to take a deep breath and look at our lives... we seldom notice...." p18
The sabbath can help us with the addiction of "doing" p 34.
Work never ends, "(the) sabbath is God's gracious five o' clock whistle that gives me permission to stop and lay down my tools, ready or not."
"We are invited to enter God's rest as an acknowledgement of his abundance, our rest indicates that we depend completely on the God who created and sustains us" p 43.
"Jesus was teaching through his actions that the sabbath is a day of liberation, a day when people return to the joy of the world as God created it." p46
"Observing a sabbath is calling us back to this gift from God, the gift of rhythm in time, the gift of a day to rest in the reality that God is in charge of the universe and we are not." p51
We are drawn to the words of Jesus about abundant life and his peace that passes understanding, but often we don't know how to access them. The sabbath is a concrete way to start, a practical and ancient solution to an enduring human need." p52
"What do you need to cease from?" p 53
The sabbath gives us a delightful opportunity to consider where we need to slow down." p53
"The sabbath calls us to abstain totally from whatever is our work at the time" p54
Work goes beyond what we do for pay though, people will have different things on their list. Perhaps things that might appear on a "to do" list p55.
"It could be something that you will judge based on progress or production." p55
"On the sabbath, you can enjoy slowly and intentionally." Experience. p58
Freedom from multi tasking p58. Focus on one thing at a time and enjoy-it could be sport p59 or cooking. p58, or staring out of a window.
Freedom from slavery of anxiety p 65. Try and set aside worries. Our bodies need a break from worry and stress. p66
"We are invited on the sabbath to remember that we have been freed from slavery by the death and resurrection of Jesus." p67
We need twenty four hours for a sabbath and try to keep the same pattern/day for three to six months in a row. This will help to develop the habit. p68.
Even hobbies may not be rest. If you are doing it because you want to get it done, then stop doing it on the sabbath. p71
"On the sabbath we are invited to clear away the distraction of our lives so we can rest in God." p72
Perhaps you may need some simple structures to help experience this. p72
Enjoy sights, sounds, smells. Do it with lots of breaks. Spend the day attuned to beauty. p76.
"...breathe deeply, to enjoy nature, to watch a flickering candle...." p77
"Some enjoy caring for God's creation on the sabbath." p78.
"Because our culture puts all its emphasis on the things we don't have-so we can purchase something to meet that need-we have no natural structures to encourage us to remember what God has done, except perhaps Christmas and Easter. The weekly sabbath can be a wonderful opportunity to stop and notice God's goodness to us, to remember who God is and what he has done." pp81,82
"Good food, rousing music, laughter and playful activities can help us revel in God's overflowing abundance and the freedom he has given us in Christ." p83
The mind-numbing escape of a video game is not rest (ie the above) p82
Regarding your choices for sabbath activities:
quoted from the book:
-Does it promote rest and or relaxation?
-Does it bring delight and enjoyment?
-Does it give you a sense of holiness and sanctity? p84
True rest on the sabbath requires preparation. Get tasks and shopping for food done before the sabbath. p85
"God may want us to be inefficient sometimes in order for us to receive his gifts more fully." p90
Time has a rhythm which we have now lost p92. Sunrise/sunset have little impact on us.
24-7 blurs weeks p93
Sundays used to have no shops trading. Seasons are blurred as we import food from all over the world. "The loss of rhythms dehumanises us." p93
Productivity and all these achievements can become a form of idolatory. p96
"Sometimes the way to get unstuck from procrastination and lack of self discipline is to begin with a full day of enjoyable rest." p97
"....Adam and Eve were created on the sixth day, so their first full day on earth was the seventh day, the sabbath." "They didn't begin to work until they had rested in God's presence. We often do the opposite, believing we have to earn the right to a day of rest by working hard." p97
Take care with legalism. "We enter into legalism when we focus on the letter of the law rather than its spirit." p99
We can choose which day we will keep for the sabbath. Also which time frame ie sunset to the next sunset etc. p101
Try and keep it on the same day to experience the rhythm. "The sabbath is about rhythm, intentionality and expectation." p102
Sabbath patterns also change over time based on family needs, working hours etc p105
"Throw out perfectionism. Let God run the universe." p116
"If you desire to begin a sabbath practice, make a plan and then follow it for three to six months. Resist the temptation to analyse during that period. Simply receive the gift of the sabbath and wait until the end of that time and then reflect on what you have experienced. Let the sabbath teach you." p121
"The sabbath...invites us to participate in something without totally understanding it." p122
How can we be thankful if we have not taken the time to notice? p124
"It takes concentration and stillness to find and follow tracks...notice God's footprints in our lives....noticing takes time. We can and should pause each day to take time to notice but we need more than moments." p125