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Keeping the Sabbath Wholly: Ceasing, Resting, Embracing, Feastingby Marva J. Dawn
Synopses & Reviews
But I don t" wanna" go to church! Marva Dawn has often heard that cry--and not only from children. What a sad commentary it is on North American spirituality, she writes, that the delight of keeping the Sabbath day has degenerated into the routine and drudgery--even the downright oppressiveness--of going to church.
According to Dawn, the phrase going to church both reveals and promotes bad theology: it suggests that the church is a static place when in fact the church is the "people of God." The regular gathering together of God?'s people for worship is important--it enables them to" be church" in the world--but the act of worship is only a small part of observing the Sabbath.
This refreshing book invites the reader to experience the wholeness and joy that come from observing God?'s order for life--a rhythm of working six days and setting apart one day for rest, worship, festivity, and relationships. Dawn develops a four-part pattern for keeping the Sabbath: (1)"ceasing"--not only from work but also from productivity, anxiety, worry, possessiveness, and so on; (2) "resting"-- of the body as well as the mind, emotions, and spirit--a wholistic rest; (3) "embracing"--deliberately taking hold of Christian values, of our calling in life, of the wholeness God offers us; (4) "feasting"--celebrating God and his goodness in individual and corporate worship as well as feasting with beauty, music, food, affection, and social interaction.
Combining sound biblical theology and research into Jewish traditions with many practical suggestions, "Keeping the Sabbath Wholly" offers a healthy balance between head and heart: the book shows how theological insights can undergird daily life and practice, and it gives the reader both motivation and methods for "enjoying" a special holy day.
Dawn?'s work-- unpretentiously eloquent, refreshingly personal in tone, and rich with inspiring example--promotes the discipline of Sabbath-keeping not as a legalistic duty but as the way to freedom, delight, and joy. Christians and Jews, pastors and laypeople, individuals and small groups--all will benefit greatly from reading and discussing the book and putting its ideas into practice.
This book invites the reader to experience the wholeness and joy that come from observing God's order for life--a rhythm of working six days and setting apart one day for rest, worship, festivity, and relationships. Dawn's work offers both motivation and methods for enjoying a special holy day.
Table of Contents
Ceasing work — Ceasing productivity and accomplishment — Ceasing anxiety, worry, and tension — Ceasing our trying to be God — Ceasing our possessiveness — Ceasing our enculturation — Ceasing the humdrum and meaninglessness — Spiritual rest — Physical rest — Emotional rest — Intellectual rest — Aids to rest — Social rest — An ethics of character — Embracing intentionality — Embracing the values of the Christian community — Embracing time instead of space — Embracing giving instead of requiring — Embracing our calling in life — Embracing wholeness : shalom — Embracing the world — Feasting on the eternal — Feasting with music — Feasting with beauty — Feasting with food — Feasting with affection — Feasting and festival — Sabbath ceasing, resting, embracing, and feasting — Appendix : a few suggestions for rituals to begin and end the Sabbath day.
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