Spaciousness – Gerald May

We know we need rest, but we can no longer see the value of rest as an end in itself; it is only worthwhile if it helps us recharge our batteries so we can be even more efficient in the next period of productivity…

The ancients knew the value of spaciousness for its own sake…Sabbath was meant to be a day of spaciousness in form, time and soul. It was to be an uncluttered day, a day not filled up, a day of rest and appreciation, a day of freedom just to be.

From: Gerald May, The Awakened Heart

 

Easter Victory – Thomas Merton

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)

Resting in God – Richard Foster

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

The Power of Easter – Thomas Merton

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

Sabbath Rest – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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

Risen today – Charles Wesley

Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia!
Earth and heaven in chorus say, Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
Sing, ye heavens, and earth reply, Alleluia!

Love’s redeeming work is done, Alleluia!
Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!
Death in vain forbids him rise, Alleluia!
Christ has opened paradise, Alleluia!

Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia!
Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!
Once he died our souls to save, Alleluia!
Where’s thy victory, boasting grave? Alleluia!

Soar we now where Christ has led, Alleluia!
Following our exalted Head, Alleluia!
Made like him, like him we rise, Alleluia!
Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia!

Hail the Lord of earth and heaven, Alleluia!
Praise to thee by both be given, Alleluia!
Thee we greet triumphant now, Alleluia!
Hail the Resurrection, thou, Alleluia!

King of glory, soul of bliss, Alleluia!
Everlasting life is this, Alleluia!
Thee to know, thy power to prove, Alleluia!
Thus to sing, and thus to love, Alleluia!

Charles Wesley

Good Friday – Jürgen Moltmann

The symbol of the cross in the church points to the God who was crucified not between two candles on an altar, but between two thieves in the place of the skull, where the outcasts belong, outside the gates of the city. It does not invite thought, but a change of mind. It is a symbol which therefore leads out of the church and out of religious longing into the fellowship of the oppressed and abandoned. On the other hand, it is a symbol which calls the oppressed and godless into the church and through the church into the fellowship of the crucified God.

From: Jürgen Moltmann, The Crucified God

Rush and Quiet – Oswald Chambers

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.

Retreat and Sabbath

…  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

 

Wonder – A W Tozer

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