Setting aside time to rest in God is a challenge, especially in a world that idolizes doing and accomplishing. Summer is a great time to take vacations, slow down and detach from the busyness of the rest of the year. This month our blogs and social media posts will provide resources and ideas related to Sabbath. To begin, consider one or more of the books below to use as tools to help you learn to enjoy the blessings of true rest. 

Start your July Sabbath by meditating on this invitation from Jesus: “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28-30 MSG.

 

Rhythms of Rest: Finding the Spirit of Sabbath in a Busy World by Shelly Miller

Understanding the need for rest and incorporating it intentionally into our lives are two very different things, and many of us struggle with putting Sabbath into practice. Miller, the founder of the Sabbath Society and the wife of an Anglican minister in the U.K., tackles the practical application of rest, providing doable ideas that make it possible to embrace Sabbath as a gift from God.

The Rest of God: Restoring Your Soul by Restoring Sabbath by Mark Buchanan

In this book, one of the most well-known on Sabbath rest, Mark Buchanan reveals how we have lost the rest that God gives, and in turn have abandoned the ability to know a part of Him that can only be experienced through stillness. The rhythms of rest God established in His wisdom bring both a deeper understanding of Him and a more abundant, joyful life, and Buchanan gives practical advice for restoring Sabbath and the blessings inherent in it.

Sabbath as Resistance: Saying No to the Culture of Now by Walter Brueggemann

Our culture of “more,” focused on accomplishment, easily pushes us to forget God and others. Professor and minister Walter Brueggemann casts a vision for the wholeness God intends for us and shows how observing the Sabbath can lead to a simpler and more fulfilling life.

Sabbath Keeping: Finding Freedom in the Rhythms of Rest by Lynne M. Baab

Our failure to rest often stems from a misunderstanding of God, who created us to rest and to rely on Him. Lynne M. Baab draws from her own experiences and those of others of many ages and backgrounds to give practical insights for slowing down, embracing the freedom of rest and enjoying a relationship with our Heavenly Father.

Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal and Delight in our Busy Lives by Wayne Muller

Wayne Muller, also the author of How, Then, Shall We Live?, makes the case for the need for Sabbath and the dangers of ceaseless work with no rest, and shows how the concept of Sabbath is broader than a day set aside each week. Incorporating stories, poems and practical exercises, he shows how to create times of sacred rest that provide a refuge for our souls.

Soul Rest: Reclaim Your Life. Return to Sabbath by Curtis Zackery

A sustainable, purposeful life is only possible when we learn how to rest. But the pressures of juggling responsibilities can easily lead to unhealthy patterns that exclude this vital component. Curtis Zachary challenges readers to examine themselves, find their identity in the Lord and accept his invitation to rest.

Subversive Sabbath: The Surprising Power of Rest in a Nonstop World by A. J. Swoboda

The winner of ­Christianity Today’s 2019 Book Awards in the Spiritual Formation category, Subversive Sabbath demonstrates how our 24/7 focus on productivity damages not only our own bodies and souls but also our relationships with others, our society and all of creation. Pastor and professor A. J. Swoboda presents an alternative, inviting readers to Sabbath-keeping for their own sake and the sake of others.