Jesus wants us to enjoy life. Rest refreshes our souls. It relaxes and recharges us. It helps us to be more productive during our non sabbath times. It reconnects us to God and to others.
What does a day of rest look like? By this I mean a true day of sabbath: no work involved. Even if it is just for a few hours.
It will be different for each person. Let me share what it will look like for me. I have two children that are 15 and 9. I can take a sabbath day but I need to be creative wth my approach.
Here are my thoughts:
My twice a day Centering Prayer session is a must. I sit with God first thing in the morning and then again in the early afternoon. My sits are usually 20 minutes each. Perhaps I go thirty each time now.
My wife and I enjoy to watch movies and Netflix series. It most likely will include this if my wife can join me. If my wife joins me it will also include a cup of French pressed coffee. That is the best way to enjoy a good cup of coffee. It gives the coffee a wonderful, full and bold flavor.
My daughter and I like to walk. In the evening I grab the dog leash, ask Josh if he wants to come along and ride his bike as the four of us stroll the neighborhood. In case you are wondering the fourth is Sandy our golden doodle.
If it is a Saturday and it is college football season, a Sabbath for me is to watch my Pitt Panthers play their Saturday opponent. I love college football. There is an excitement in the air. The crowds roar and the bands play.
I love to read. Sabbath is a good book: fiction or nonfiction. I love to learn new things. I enjoy to check out new authors whose works I have not read.
My son likes pinball and ice cream. Sabbath is spontaneous trip to the local arcade followed up by ice cream at Dairy Queen. The rest of the family makes out on this routine. I usually bring it home and we all enjoy the soft serve.
Lastly, rest is to just sit and watch. Maybe I sit in a mall and watch. Perhaps I just sit in my family room and watch the kids go about their fun routines.
I would love to hear your ideas of rest and sabbath.
For more information on rest and sabbath check out my review of Rhythms of Rest by Shelly Miller.
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Check out my interview with Daniel Coleman, author of Presence and Process: A Path Toward Transformative Faith and Inclusive Community. “My goal in writing ‘Presence and Process’ was to encourage people to explore meditative/contemplative practices (and also process theology) by providing a primer.”
Enjoy a short piece on Sabbath by Amos Smith.
I just finished Presence and Process: A Path Toward Transformative Faith and Inclusive Community by Daniel P. Coleman and Intimacy with God: An Introduction To Centering Prayer by Thomas Keating. I am currently reading The Bible Makes Sense by Walter Brueggemann.
Prepare to be immersed in the 1st Century A.D. context of the life, work, teachings, and actions of Jesus. Check out Simply Jesus by N. T. Wright. It is based on his book Simply Jesus. Enjoy an article I wrote about one of the lectures on the Beatitudes.
This course is a short course based on Prof. N.T. Wright’s latest book, Simply Good News. Tom Wright will guide you through the chapters of his book through videos that suggest what some of the main points are. You will instantly get into the heart of the idea of ‘good news’ as it was understood by the 1st Century writers of the New Testament. You will be brought into their world in order to make more sense of what ‘good news’ means in our world.
Check out my review of Christian Prayer Methods by Dr. Philip St. Romain. Explore prayer methods that go back to Jesus.
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David Frenette’s book The Path of Centering Prayer reenergized the Centering Prayer tradition with its fresh insights and teachings. Centering Prayer Meditations: Effortless Contemplation to Deepen Your Experience of God is a wonderful companion audio program created to be equally rewarding as a stand-alone guide – gives listeners an immersive resource to learn contemplative prayer, step by step and in the moment. With clarity and compassionate presence, Frenette explains the essential principles of this contemplative practice for both new and seasoned practitioners.
I use a Prayer Rope after each Centering Prayer Sit. Learn more about how to pray with a prayer rope.
Centering Prayer is a silent prayer practice that can move you toward a profound relationship with the Spirit of God within. It is a way of praying that opens the door to the Divine Indwelling—the ground of our being. With Centering Prayer, Father Thomas Keating and his colleagues Gail Fitzpatrick-Hopler and Father Carl Arico present the first online course in this method for deepening your intimacy with God and ultimately consenting to the presence and action of the Divine in all aspects of your life.
The early Christians, teaches the Reverend Cynthia Bourgeault, were afire with the spirit of Jesus, inspired fully by his teaching of a total transformation of consciousness. How do we reclaim that fire today? On Encountering the Wisdom Jesus, this brilliant author and dynamic Episcopalian priest presents her first full-length audio course about rediscovering the Master of Wisdom. Twelve immersive sessions cover: the parables as wisdom tools; Jesus’s teachings about kenosis (or self-emptying: a path as radical today as it was 2,000 years ago); Jesus as tantric master; Centering Prayer, an approach to meditation as Jesus lived it, and much more. (Based upon her book, The Wisdom Jesus.)
Since the time of the Desert Fathers in the third century, Finley begins, Christian mystics have practiced meditation as a way of opening to the direct presence of God in daily life. Legendary seekers such as Saint John of the Cross, Saint Teresa of Avila, and Meister Eckhart explored how meditation can lead us beyond the closed horizon of the ego, to an interior and holy refuge that is always available to us. On Christian Meditation, James Finley offers a gentle introduction to this all-transforming way of life, and the ever-deepening realization of oneness with Christ it leads us to. (Based upon his book, Christian Meditation.)