This gift, this mercy, this unbounded love of God for us has been lavished upon us as a result of Christ’s victory. To taste this love is to share in His victory. To realize our freedom, to exult in our liberation from death, from sin and from the Law, is to sing the Alleluia which truly glorifies God in this world and in the world to come.
From: Thomas Merton, Seasons of Celebration, page 157)
No teaching flowing out of the Sabbath principle is more important than the centrality of our resting in God. Instead of striving to make this or that happen, we learn trust in a heavenly Father who loves to give. This does not promote inactivity, but it does promote dependent activity. No longer do we take things into our own hands. Rather, we place all things into divine hands and then act out of inner promptings.
From: Richard Foster, Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home, p 96
But now the power of Easter has burst upon us with the resurrection of Christ. Now we find in ourselves a strength which is not our own, and which is freely given to us whenever we need it, raising us above the Law, giving us a new law which is hidden in Christ: the law of his merciful love for us. Now we no longer strive to be good because we have to, because it is a duty, but because our joy is to please him who has given all his love to us! Now our life is full of meaning!
From: Thomas Merton, Seasons of Celebration
The goal of hallowing Sunday[/Sabbath] is the Sunday rest. God wants to lead God’s people to God’s own rest, to relax from the earthly workday…. Freed from imperfect human effort, the people of God are to gaze on the completed pure work of God and to participate in it. As a reflection and promise of this eternal rest with the Creator and Redeemer of the world, the Christian who keeps Sunday holy is permitted to experience Sunday rest.
From: Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Conspiracy and Imprisonment, 1940-1945, p 644
The measure of the worth of our public activity for God is the private profound communion we have with Him. Rush is wrong every time, there is always plenty of time to worship God. Quiet days with God may be a snare. We have to pitch our tents where we shall always have quiet times with God, however noisy our times with the world may be. There are not three stages in spiritual life – worship, waiting and work. Some of us go in jumps like spiritual frogs, we jump from worship to waiting, and from waiting to work. God’s idea is that the three should go together. They were always together in the life of Our Lord. He was unhasting and unresting. It is a discipline, we cannot get into it all at once.
From: Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, January 6.
… a retreat is a time set apart to be reminded of God’s presence in a deeper way. It is a time to remember again that God holds the world and me. It is a time to relax into God’s sovereignty and to remember God’s activity, not my own. It is a time that restores the rhythm for me between work and rest. As I think on it, for me retreat is extended Sabbath.
From: Time Away: A Guide for Personal Retreat, p 29, by Ben Campbell Johnson and Paul H. Lang
Adoration is an important aspect of my personal worship of God. This cannot be worked out by any human effort but rather made incandescent by the fire of the Holy Spirit in my life. My worship of God must be the sense of awful wonder and adoration, to love, yearn and wait on God.
From: A W Tozer, My Daily Pursuit
“Adoration is the first and greatest of life’s responses to its spiritual environment; the first and most fundamental of spirit’s movement towards Spirit, the seed from which all other prayer must spring. It is among the most powerful of the educative forces which purify the understanding, form and develop the spiritual life.”
From: Evelyn Underhill
“The command is “Do no work.” Just make space. Attend to what is around you. Learn that you don’t have to DO to BE. Accept the grace of doing nothing. Stay with it until you stop jerking and squirming.”
From: Dallas Willard, The Great Omission: Reclaiming Jesus’s Essential Teachings on Discipleship
“There might be a time during this journey of ours when our tables are overturned, our money is scattered, feathers fly and we find ourselves scrambling. There might be a time when all we have left is worship with no agenda other than to worship our Lord, and the forming of words in our hearts of “injustice” and “love” by the One who shouted them at us in the marketplace.”
From: Anna Murdock
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