Although I had not read any of Dan Allender's previous works, I knew of his reputation, and I both hoped for and expected great things from this book, Sabbath. I was not disappointed.
Reading this book really challenged my thinking on both the purpose and the pleasure of Sabbath. Allender encourages us to take delight in this God-created day, not to spend it in pious, legalistic solemnity. After all, God is pleased when we relish in Him and His creation.
"Sabbath is not about time off or a break in routine. It is not a minivacation to give us a respite so we are better prepared to go back to work. The Sabbath is far more than a diversion; it is meant to be an encounter with God's delight . . . [And we] will never know Sabbath delight unless God delivers us from drowning in the noise and grime of our soiled days," says Allender.
The "Sabbath Pillars," as Allender calls them, include Sensual Glory, Holy Time, Communal Feast, and Play Day, and he describes each of these in such simple yet pleasurable ways, encouraging us to consider and act upon what God bestows upon us that truly brings us pleasure. And as we indulge in and savor these gifts, we are ultimately bringing glory to God Himself.
Allender brings to light the fact that we often feel guilty for taking pleasure in things--that we somehow feel that we don't deserve to and that we should be working instead. I personally appreciate the reminder that it is actually God's command to us to rest and delight in the Sabbath--to keep it holy or set apart from all the other days. Why is this a commandment we feel okay about ignoring?
Sabbath is refreshing, encouraging, and exciting to read and then live out.
*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their Book Review Blogger program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”