Rest & Sabbath

"Your Sabbath, Lord, this keeps us by
Your will, not ours. And it is fit
Our only choice should be to die
Into that rest, or out of it" - Wendell Berry

As sure as we were created to work, we’ve been created to rest. In the account of creation in the book of Genesis we see God do it, keeping the Sabbath day holy is a command that the Hebrew culture knew well. We see it as a regular rhythm in Jesus’ life. Rest is something that we need desperately in our modern fast paced culture, and Sabbath (a day of rest) is something needed, yet often overlooked. Hurry sickness is what we often find in our culture, and Bill Gaultiere of Soul Shepherding calls Sabbath-rest “medicine for our embodied souls.” Rabbi, and author, Abraham Joshua Heschel wrote in his book, “The Sabbath,”

“Six days a week we wrestle with the world, wringing profit from the earth; on the Sabbath we especially care for the seed of eternity planted in the soul. The world has our hands, but our soul belongs to Someone Else. Six days a week we seek to dominate the world, on the seventh day we try to dominate the self.”

Like any other practice, rest and Sabbath become more than recreation and ‘having a day off’ when we add the intentionality of doing it “with God.” Instead of defaulting to watching TV, or filling the day with projects and our lists of things that must get done, we are invited to intentionally “care for the seed of eternity planted in the soul” (as Heschel puts it so eloquently).

Practicing Sabbath

Many have done this differently over the centuries, but maybe some helpful ways to practically practice rest and Sabbath in our current cultural expression are:

Take a vacation from technology

Log off social media, and log out of your email. Your phone can be put on airplane mode or Do Not Disturb (or you can turn it off!). Resist the draw of habitual use of technology.


Take the opportunity to cultivate your prayer life. You can check out the Prayer Practices Page to find a prayer exercise to do.


Take time to worship God. If your day of rest is happening on Sunday, attend our worship gathering and worship with others.

Friends & Family

Take time during the day to spend time with family or friends. Play board games, go for a walk, or share a meal. If your Sabbath rest is happening on a day that you worship as a community, attend the gathering and connect with others there.

Recommended Resources

Ruthless Elimination of Hurry

"The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry" by John Mark Comer is a wonderful primer on the importance of practicing the way of Jesus in our current cultural climate. 

Subversive Sabbath

This book pioneers a creative path to an alternative way of existing. Combining creative storytelling, pastoral sensitivity, practical insight, and relevant academic research, Subversive Sabbath offers a unique invitation to personal Sabbath-keeping that leads to fuller and more joyful lives.

Sabbath As Resistance

Walter Brueggemann writes that the Sabbath is not simply about keeping rules but rather about becoming a whole person and restoring a whole society. He calls out our 24/7 society of consumption, a society in which we live to achieve, accomplish, perform, and possess. We want more, own more, use more, eat more, and drink more. Brueggemann shows readers how keeping the Sabbath allows us to break this restless cycle and focus on what is truly important: God, other people, all life.

How Is Your Soul? (Free Resource)

Psalm 1 tells us that we are “…like a tree” (Ps. 1:3). In other words, the water we drink and the minerals we gather all play a part in shaping our character into the likeness of Christ. Personal spiritual development is intentional; it is a daily choice, on which the Spirit breathes.