Daily Riches: Sabbath and the Rhythm of Rest (Nancy Schongalla-Bowman and Mark Buchanan) *

“Despite the commandment, despite the day of rest and savoring that closed the creation story, many of us struggle to maintain a rhythm that includes intentional times of play and “non-doing.” Having just finished nature’s season of Sabbath we are reminded that spring, creativity, newness of life, are preceded by fallow time when it appears that nothing is happening. Prayer too is a time when it appears that nothing is happening. But Sabbath and prayer provide necessary opportunities for us to re-align with God and to remember that our purpose is union, faithfulness, and delight, not perfection or productivity.” Nancy Schongalla-Bowman

“”The Exodus command, with its call to imitation, plays on a hidden irony: we mimic God in order to remember we’re not God. In fact, that is a good definition of Sabbath: imitating God so that we stop trying to be God.” Mark Buchanan

“Six days do your work, but on the seventh day do not work,
so that your ox and your donkey may rest,
and so that the slave born in your household
and the foreigner living among you may be refreshed.”
Exodus 23:12

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Many of us sense the need for “realigning with God” during each day (e.g., Daily Office) and in the course of each week (Sabbath) – and yet we “struggle” with these practices. What do you suppose accounts for that?
  • Even if the Sabbath command is no longer binding today, can you hear God’s heart in Exodus 23 – to give the gift of rest to his people and those who work for them – even to animals? Do you see value in rest and “fallow time” in the world?  in your life?
  • Do you agree with the statement that our purpose “is union, faithfulness, and delight, not perfection or productivity?” Even productivity? Have you built elements into your regular schedule that reflect this claim?

Abba, sometimes it seems like everyone else is running, striving, and grasping – chasing the brass ring, measuring by accomplishment, affirmation and efficiency. I want union with you more than I want those things. Help me to develop a rhythm of regularly recalibrating my relationship with you and your purposes.


For More”Sabbath: Keeping a Rhythm of Rest” by Nancy Schongalla-Bowman


“There grows in me an immense dissatisfaction with all that is merely passively accepted as truth, without struggle and without examination. Faith, surely, is not passive, and not an evasion. And today, more than ever, the things we believe, I mean especially the things we accept on human faith—reported matters of ‘fact,’ questions of history, of policy, of interpretation, of wants—they should be very few.” Thomas Merton   These Daily Riches are designed to encourage examination of convictions, of faith, so that we increasingly trust in the God who is really there, and less in our ideas of Him. Thanks for reading and sharing my daily blog. –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

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