As I continue to think about Sabbath–what it means to keep it and how to keep it–I ran across A Meal with Jesus: Discovering Grace, Community, and Mission around the Table. The book is tied into Sabbath by an exposition of how hospitality, like the Sabbath, points to salvation and rest. Author Tim Chester does a great job of writing a very scriptural exposition of how Jesus came “eating and drinking” and the implications it has for us as Christ followers attempting to become more like him.
I’ve been thinking of the concept of dinners (not dinner parties in the Martha Stewart sense, but sharing a meal with people from our church and community) as part of Sabbath, and have been considering how we might do that on Saturday nights as a start to our Sabbath. This book really challenged me in the way I think of meals as mission.
Key strengths in the book are the author’s challenging discussion of modern pharisees in terms of the way we look at and treat hurting and marginalized people (versus how we would treat them if we truly grasped the grace given to us) and his honest and helpful insights on how correctly understanding our salvation should change the way we do hospitality and Sabbath, and what that might look like in our communities.
A Meal with Jesus: Discovering Grace, Community, and Mission around the Table was an excellent and challenging book and I highly recommend it if you’re interested in topics like community, mission, hospitality, and Sabbath.
Written by a doctor who now does full-time ministry, 24/6: A Prescription for a Healthier, Happier Life has a different perspective than other books I have read on the concept of the Sabbath, and it was an interesting read, although perhaps less deep and compelling than the Dan Allender book I reviewed a while back.
In 24/6 you’ll get more anecdotal glimpses of the value of taking a day of rest, and some broad guidance into what that might look like. As a doctor, the author is aware of the physical havoc being on the go nonstop can wreak, and he points out that this is another instance of God’s perfect plan for us being a blessing rather than a restriction:
“Honoring the Sabbath every week makes us more committed and serious about our relationship with the Lord. This is even more crucial today, when things travel as fast as the speed of light. God designed us to spend one day a week at the speed of stop.”
There were some good insights in the book, and if you’re interested in the topic of Sabbath keeping I’d recommend 24/6. However, if you only have time for one book on the subject, I do think that Allender’s book on the Sabbath (link is to my review) covers the idea in more depth and will give you more to think about and work through.
What do you do to keep the Sabbath? Are there any resources on the topic that you’ve found particularly helpful?
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.