Monday, January 02, 2012
2012 Book List: #1
The Taste of Sabbath by Stuart Bryan.
Two themes that I want to study and explore this year are joy and feasting, so I was excited to read this book which covered both. Sabbath observation is something that majority of the evangelical church completely ignores. Go to church in the morning and spend the rest of the day doing whatever. Reformed Presbyterians tend to go to the other extreme, squashing joy with a detailed do & don't list. But which is right and why? This little book is a great place to begin that conversation.
Two things really struck me. First, the Sabbath is a gift not only to God's people but to the unbeliever also. "Six days you shall do your work, and on the seventh day you shall rest, that your ox and your donkey may rest, and the son of your female servant and the stranger may be refreshed." (Exodus 23:12) This is the reasoning (in part) to not do business on the Lord's Day. A quote from the book:
"... the Sabbath embodied principles of justice and equity, forbidding exploration of the poorest members of society. Sabbath was Jubilee- freedom from slavery, freedom from debt, freedom from labor, rest in the presence of God."
Second, the Sabbath isn't about what we can't do but instead about what we can and we need to delight whole heartily in that. I think for far too long I've concentrated on the "do nots." Of course, that has it's place but I need to get the other down first. This is a day to feast on the Lord through worship and His Word. It's a day to extend hospitality and mercy to others. It should be the best day of the week. But that doesn't just happen. It takes thought & planning (and clean up because the Sabbath should be about food too). It's worth it though- I think if the church can get the Sabbath right, so many things will fall into place.