What does it mean to observe the Sabbath?

Hope I didn’t catch you (and me) at an awkward time, but are you already thirsting for encouragement in Sabbath-keeping this fall term?  As I reflected upon the topic and prayed for the graduate students and faculty with whom I minister, I returned to Calvin College’s helpful Sabbath-keeping resource page for faculty.  Below’s just a taste:

In an academic setting like Calvin where Monday signifies not only the beginning of a new week but the onslaught of classes to teach, tests to take (or give) and general all-around busyness, is it really realistic to rest from your work on Sunday? Is it even biblically mandated for the New Testament church?

In his book, Catch Your Breath: God’s Invitation to Sabbath Rest, Don Postema points out that that “the hectic pace of contemporary life makes the idea and practice of sabbath rest enormously attractive.” Yet this same hectic pace also, on the other hand, makes it incredibly difficult to slow down, let alone cease from the normal concerns of everyday life. In light of these considerations, two key questions must be answered: Why should Christians observe the Sabbath and how?

Two other links which come to mind when I consider the topic are given below.  What resources, practices, and communities have you found helpful in Sabbath-keeping, particularly as a new term begins?

  1. A Guided Sabbath, a resource written by Sarah MacDonald & Jay Sivits for Following Christ in 2002
  2. Critical Junctures: The Spiritual Formation of Graduate Students and Young Faculty by Bob Trube.
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Tom Grosh IV

Tom enjoys daily conversations regarding living out the Biblical Story with his wife Theresa and their four girls, around the block, at Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ Church (where he teaches adult electives and co-leads a small group), among healthcare professionals as the South Central PA Area Director for the Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA), and in higher ed as a volunteer with the Emerging Scholars Network (ESN). The Christian Medical Society / CMDA at Penn State College of Medicine is the hub of his ministry with CMDA. Note: Tom served with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship / USA for 20+ years, including 6+ years as the Associate Director of ESN. He has written for the ESN blog from its launch in August 2008. He has studied Biology (B.S.), Higher Education (M.A.), Spiritual Direction (Certificate), Spiritual Formation (M.A.R.), Ministry to Emerging Generations (D.Min.). To God be the glory!

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