. . . prayer, especially meditation and contemplative prayer, is not so much a way to find God as a way of resting in him whom we have found, who loves us, who is near to us, who comes to us to draw us to himself.
From: Thomas Merton, Contemplative Prayer
For this is the cause why we be not all in ease of heart and soul: that we seek here rest in those things that are so little, wherein is no rest, and know not our God that is All-mighty, All-wise, All-good. For He is the very rest. God willeth to be known, and it pleaseth Him that we rest in Him; for all that is beneath Him sufficeth not us. And this is the cause why that no soul is rested till it is made nought as to all things that are made. When it is willingly made nought, for love, to have Him that is all, then is it able to receive spiritual rest.
from: Julian of Norwich, Revelations of Divine Love
… Sabbath is a school for our desires, an expose and critique of the false desires that focus on idolatry and greed that have immense power for us. When we do not pause for Sabbath, these false desires take power over us. But Sabbath is the chance for self-embrace of our true identity.
From: Walter Brueggemann, Sabbath as Resistance: Saying No to the Culture of Now
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
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 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
… 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
“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
Every time we turn to Christ in faith it is like a moment of Sabbath, a little foretaste of eternal rest and glory. The gift of that moment lies not in what we do but what we receive. It is the holy time set aside to receive the greatest gift of God ever has to give, which is himself, in his own beloved Son.
From: Phillip Cary, Good News for Anxious Christians: Ten Practical Things You Don’t Have to Do
If you keep the Sabbath, you start to see creation not as somewhere to get away from your ordinary life, but a place to frame an attentiveness to your life.
From: Eugene H. Peterson