Through her tenderhearted and well researched writing, Keri encourages her readers to view the Sabbath as both God's gift to them and as an opportunity to reconnect with the Creator and those we love. She explains not only why it is an important commandment to keep in our fast-paced society, but that it is also one that is not as difficult to respect as we sometimes think it is.
I appreciated that this book did not contain a list of do's and don'ts and instead offered helpful suggestions to use the Sabbath as a time to refresh, refuel, and rejuvenate.
Rest:Living in Sabbath Simplicity, was indeed a life-changing read...for me and my family.
Keri Wyatt Kent graciously answered many questions from curious readers about Rest. Here are two questions that I thought you would like answered. You can read the entire Q&A here.
Q: What is Sabbath, and what is its purpose? What do you mean by Sabbath Simplicity?
A: Sabbath, first and foremost, is a gift from our loving God. He invites us to take a day to rest from our labor, so that we might engage in relationship with him and with others. Its purpose is to refresh us physically and spiritually, to celebrate our freedom, to draw us close to God, and yet to remind us that we are not God. God commanded us to Sabbath, to stop. But Sabbath-keeping is also a spiritual practice or discipline. All disciplines, (like prayer, solitude, etc.) create some space for God in our lives. Just as we have a lot of latitude in other practices (we can pray any number of ways, for example), we have freedom in how we practice Sabbath. My book offers a lot of ideas, and real-life examples, of how to approach this life-giving practice.Sabbath Simplicity is a sanely-paced, God-focused life. It’s a lifestyle that includes the practice of Sabbath-keeping, but goes beyond just taking a day off. IN a way, it’s living out what Jesus told us to do in Matthew 6:33: See first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Sabbath Simplicity seeks God first.
Q: What are some simple steps anyone can take to seek Sabbath Simplicity in their own lives?
A: The first step is to assess the current pace of your life—what activities have you and the people you live with said yes too. How hurried are you? You can’t figure out your next step, really, until you know where you are starting from. You may have to get very concrete and write down your schedule and look at it. Because your activity level during the week is going to affect your Sabbath.
Second, choose a day that you will keep Sabbath. I recommend Saturday or Sunday, and go from sunset to sunset. The Old Testament Sabbath was from sunset on the 6th day of the week to sunset on the 7th day—although as I explain in detail in the book, their ancient calendars were different from ours.Third, choose one thing to refrain from, one thing to engage in. For example, refrain from housework or running errands, and engage in reading a spiritually challenging book, or playing with your kids. Start with small steps, and think about building your Sabbath Simplicity life a little at a time, gradually. After a few weeks, add another thing you will refrain from, and another thing you’ll engage in. Pray and listen, let God shape your Sabbath practice. Make your relationship with him the focus. Allow yourself flexibility.
Today, two of you have a chance to win a copy of this book. Just leave a comment at the end of this post. If you do not win a book here, you can order a copy at Amazon.com or Christianbook.com. It's also available everywhere and at other online venues.
The contest is open to all US and Canadian residents and closes tonight at 9 p.m.
Congratulations to Karen, a non-blogger who won yesterday's prize.