Before the house stirs from sleep, I awaken with the sprinklers. Water shimmies against the walls, drips slowly down windowpanes creating a glass masterpiece. The thud of squirrels playing tag on the roof startles slow steps into the bathroom. As I look at my dimly lit reflection, bird chatter reminds me it is Sabbath. I’ve waited for these precious hours all week.
A single flame from a candle, Bible and book on my lap, tea steeping on the desk and a journal awaiting inspiration — these are staples of Sunday morning rest. These hours inform the other days of my week. It is in the quiet and stillness where I empty self-talk and hear God’s voice the best. Expectancy fuels the discipline. Community makes it sweet.
Over the past 18 months, a routine of weekly rest alongside the Sabbath Society has transformed my life. Today I’m sharing some of my favorite books on Sabbath that shape my thinking and fuel my thoughts.
The Rest of God by Mark Buchanan
Mark is one of my all-time favorite Christian writers ever and his book on Sabbath has a permanent spot on my desk. He has so many profound, richly practical things to say, I can’t even begin to quote him. I’ve underlined practically the entire book.
Mudhouse Sabbath by Lauren Winner
This is a small book, easily read in one sitting but rich with vibrant imagery through storytelling from her life. There are some sentences in this book that stick to my memory like CS Lewis and Tozer. Lauren shares how Christians can benefit from certain practices from her Jewish heritage. She encouraged me to think about things differently and well you know, I like that.
Wonderstruck by Margaret Feinberg
Okay, okay, I know this whole book isn’t about Sabbath but Chapter 4 inspired the Sabbath Society so I couldn’t make this list without adding it to the stack. And really, this whole book is about resting in the wonder of Christ in a way that encourages awareness. You’ll love it.
24/6 by Matthew Sleeth
I read this on outgoing and incoming flights and found myself riveted by his stories. As a doctor, Sleeth’s perspective on rest is thought provoking. If you happen to be in a fast-paced career where time to rest seems non-existent or highly improbable, this will encourage thinking differently. At least I hope so.
Finding Spiritual Whitespace by Bonnie Gray
Though this book is different from the others in this category because it is more of a memoir, it helps us to ponder the areas of our lives left uncultivated. And just like Bonnie, the whitespace of rest is where I find my authentic voice and the courage to move beyond survival. Her journey of discovery and healing through an onset of PTSD leads to an experience of true spiritual rest.
Now back to my candle and a few more minutes of quiet before I compose my email letter to the Sabbath Society peeps.
What books would you add to this list?