Enough Already! Keeping the Sabbath in the 21st Century–Notes

Do NOT simply turn in your notes. In fact, you don’t need to turn in your notes at all. I was simply wanting to provide an example of good note-taking and to show that you don’t have to write notes including the conceptual elements but can simply write what the person said.

These are my notes on the first Summit talk I attended. I am posting them so that you can see what kinds of things I wrote down. I took notes on the talk, but not on the conceptual elements. That means I had to think through those things when I was writing my post.


Sabbath keeping
How and why?

Confident that God only wants best.
Created Sabbath for our benefit.

Is. 58:13-14
If you keep… Then you will find joy…

Theology or why.
Practice or how.


Look at Israel and Sabbath.
Ex 20:1-17
Fourth commandment
Sabbath is tied to God’s creative work
Part of orderly, non chaotic, rhythmic
Rest came first. EVening and morning the first day
God observed the Sabbath
God created humanity in his image. He observed Sabbath; we should too.
The fourth commandment is reintroduced in Deuteronomy 5:6-21.
Two significant differences:
Slaves in Egypt. Were to remember what it was like with an oppressive master
Emphasis on relationship with other people. Sabbath observed so that others may rest.

Ten Commndments.
Sabbath keeping enables us to have deeper relationship with God and closer relationship with others.

Don’t work
Don’t make others work

Longest commandment

How does keeping Sabbath allow for deeper relationship on God and with others?
Provides time for reflection
Requires you to acknowledge it is not all about you
Rest keeps from being grumpy

Christians and Sabbath keeping
Not a commandment. Does not transfer as one of the commandments.

Valuable spiritual discipline
Learning curve
Not the Jewish Sabbath
Not a new idea

Until 50 years ago Christians observed Sabbath.

Why not now?

  • Blue laws in Texas. Consumerism. Only day committee or showers
  • More television
  • World Wars
  • More women went into workplace. Less time during week to work
  • Nation that values productivity and accomplishments
  • Value production.
  • Value accomplishment. Look at how we treat celebrities
  • 60-hour work weeks

Recognize the challenges.
Others who are not participating.
Not a nation or family
Detox when we first start doing this.  Get jittery.
Her mom could only rest by playing crosswords
Children have games and practice
Schedule showers and church on Sunday afternoons.
Committee meetings on Sun
Sun crams Sunday church work

We can’t get done what we are committed to do in the six days. So we need to focus on the one thing God wants us to focus on.

Biggest challenge for me: perfectionism
Because we can’t keep it perfectly, we give it up. That is our biggest challenge.

Not easy.

Start by stopping
Cease work
Cease producing and achieving
Cease worry and tension
Cease trying to be God

Replace what we usually do with something different:
Our typical daily activity with practices that bring us closer to God and other people

Keeping the Sabbath by resting
Resting means finding what you enjoy but do it differently.
Rest body
Rest mind
Rest spirit

Read something fun.
If teacher of kids, teach adult Bible class

Respite from emotional pains
Leave them in the hands of God.

Resting spirits requires us to know what renews us.

Read from a book on Sabbath. Whatever brings you renewal. No one else is going to judge you

By worshipping
Worship– corporate and private worship
How will worship fit within Sabbath?

By reflecting
On worship
On the past week– God’s activity, our activity or inactivity
On our relationships– with God, others
By listening for God’s word to me

By celebrating
God’s provision

Celebrate through (which is the how?)

Celebrate through fellowship
With other Christians
With all humanity

By choosing
Choose Sabbath as priority
Ex 31- last thing God says before he gives Moses the 10 commandments = keep the Sabbath
God makes a priority of Sabbath.

Intentionality over happenstance

  • Decide to do it.
  • Prepare for it.

Contentment over striving

  • Be content with whatever Sabbath looks like for me.
  • I can try to improve it, but I am going to be content.

Humanity over ritual

  • It is more important to love those around us than to precisely keep a ritual.


Last words:
May you delight in the Sabbath.

Recommended reading:
Keeping the Sabbath Wholly by Marva Dawn
Sacred Rhythms by Ruth Haley Barton

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