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.

- Heather


dawn said...

This sounds really good. I hope they put it on Kindle (I got one for Christmas!) Or maybe I can borrow yours :)

Tully Family said...

Let me know if you want to borrow it. Kindle. Sigh. You gave into the other side! ;)

dawn said...

No, not entirely. And I still have my issues. So far I've downloaded almost only free, public domain works. The only thing I've bought was Calvin's Institutes.

I like it, but I'll keep buying real books.

Jeanelle said...

Sounds like something I'd like to read. The Lord's day is a blessed delight and we look forward to it each week.

We finally found a church to worship in on Sunday evenings and it worked out nicely this past Sunday. Nice to be in a church building for one service. Pray that God will provide a permanent meeting place for our church family.

Tully Family said...

Phew. I was worried about you. ;) Nothing can replace the smell & feel of a real book!

Tully Family said...


So happy to hear that your church has a building- are they renting?

Jeanelle said...

Yes, renting but only for evening services. We still meet at the YMCA for morning service.