Book Review: Sabbath – The Ancient Practices Series

I continue my studies and empirical practice of Sabbath as a holy discipline in my life. While I recognize that I am not where I would like to be in practice or understanding, I realize that I am making forward progress and that is encouraging to me. The latest “piece” in my study portfolio has been another volume from the Ancient Practices Series published by Thomas Nelson. This third release, Sabbath, by Dan Allender has been another delightful read for me. I am enjoying the ancient practices series on whole, but in particular, my studies have been centered on trying to understand the Sabbath day.

The book is divided into three main sections comprised of eleven chapters. The individual sections provide the reader-student with background for foundation in understanding Sabbath, purpose of/for Sabbath, and how Sabbath is lived/application. The book is very logical in progression and invites the reader into a comfortable and easily digested study. Considering my desire for additional study, I especially enjoyed the well documented notes and bibliography sections of the book. Having read several of the articles and a number of the books listed in the notes and bibliography sections, I was encouraged to know I was on the right path in my quest for knowledge.

Over the past few years I have become aware of the growing conviction to learn God’s intent for man and Sabbath. This conviction is part of the fuel for my continued study and desire to learn more about the experience and practice of Sabbath as a way of life. I suppose it is with this awareness that the following excerpt continues to ring and echo in my ears and heart:

“Grace is God’s invitation to the possibility of a new garden of glory based on his son’s righteous obedience on our behalf. The Sabbath is the childlike play in the new garden because Jesus has humbly and courageously entered the garden of Gethsemane. A new garden party has begun in the Sabbath, and to not play and delight is rebellion against the in incarnation, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus.”

Finally, as if that last excerpt were not enough to stir my conviction again, Allender leaves me brooding with this closing thought:

“The Sabbath is my day; it is our day. We are created to create the sensual rhythms and rituals to taste God’s favor. All we must do is to go play in the fields of God and turn our sense to his faithful love. He is ready to play, nourish, and cherish us in a way that is not unlike the other six days, yet is different. How is it different? I don’t know. I simply know that it is the day God has created for us to celebrate. It is the one day that we are most uniquely called to play in beauty and freedom. If we ignore or misuse that day, then we are far less human than we could be.”

Challenging thoughts and catalyst to press in to the delight and joy that God calls us to share with Himself. I’m glad that I added this volume to my library…and I’m glad my vigor is renewed to continue my journey into Sabbath. “The Sabbath promises that a day of joy is ahead…” Carpe Diem.

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