A PDF version of this Discussion Guide is available here.
Chapter 7 – Sabbath.
Review, Reflect and Discuss
Feel free to comment and raise any questions that occur to you as you read. Don’t be limited to the questions listed after each summary, but they might help to prime your thinking.
Chapter 7 – desire is good but if it gets out of control we’re in trouble. We will always feel desire for more as life is ‘an unfinished symphony’. This leads to restlessness unless we find our rest in God. If we don’t, restlessness leads to hurry, and this is encouraged by our culture which is based around accumulation and accomplishment. Jesus provides a response to this problem in the Sabbath. More than just a day, it is a spirit of restfulness, a way of being. Ironically we have to work hard to enter this rest! It takes intentionality, planning, preparation, and self-control. The Sabbath day is ‘practice’ for this spirit of restfulness as a way of life, and we find we have to slow down the whole week to practice Sabbath well. Our age does not get Sabbath at all but ‘Sabbath was made for man’. God himself ‘rested’ and has made it part of the grain of the universe, that we need to flow with and not against. Sabbath means to stop and to delight. The Sabbath is blessed, a source of fruitfulness, a way ‘we fill our souls back up with life.’ The Sabbath is also holy, a temporal space where we go to meet with God. If we keep making excuses, eventually Sabbath catches up with us and we face an enforced rest. That is why God commands Sabbath – first as rest and worship (understood broadly), and then also as resistance to our enslaving culture, a way of staying free! JMC then shares some of the practical ways he and his family practice Sabbath.
- What comes into your mind when you think of the word, Sabbath?
- In what ways do our human condition and our surrounding culture encourage a spirit of restlessness?
- How do you think Sabbath could help ‘fill your soul back up with life’?
- What would it look like for you to start getting really intentional about practising Sabbath?
We are taking each of the four core practices one at a time. So for next time just read Chapter 8 – Simplicity