Some thoughts on the Sabbath from Eugene H. Peterson’s Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places:
As it turned out in Israel’s practice, Sabbath was never a day of mere not-doing — the context wouldn’t permit it. Human not-doing became a day of God-honoring. God worked in creation, which means that all our work is done in the context of God-word. Sabbath is a deliberate act of interference, an interruption of our work each week, a decree of no-work so that we are able to notice, to attend, to assimilate this comprehensive and majestic work of God, to orient our work in the work of God.
Sabbath is a workshop for the practice of eternity.
Sabbath-keeping preserves and honors time as God’s gift of holy rest: it erects a weekly bastion against the commodification of time, against reducing time to money, reducing time to what we can get out of it, against leaving no time for God or beauty or anything that cannot be used or purchased. It is a defense against the hurry that desecrates time.
We keep Sabbath best when we enter a place of worship, gather with a congregation, and sing and pray and listen to God.
We cannot rightly understand Sabbath apart from work nor rightly understand work apart from Sabbath.
If there is no Sabbath — no regular and commanded not-working, not-talking — we soon become totally absorbed in what we are doing and saying, and God’s work is either forgotten or marginalized. When we work we are most god-like, which means that it is in our work that is easiest to develop god-pretensions. Un-sabbathed, our work becomes the entire context in which we define our lives. We lose God-consciousness, God-awareness, sightings of our resurrection. We lose the capacity to sing “This is my Father’s world” and end up chirping little self-centered ditties about what we are doing and feeling.