21 July 2013

Sabbath-keeping and Play

In her book Keeping the Sabbath Wholly, Marva Dawn connects the essence of Sabbath with the concept of play.

“…Sabbath keeping is also truly delightful especially because the very process of ceasing from work uncorks our spontaneity and frees our childlike ability to play. Certainly we have observed that in our society individuals have tremendously deep needs for play. Worries about the stock market and our economic security, fears about climbing the corporate ladder, anxieties about our children or parents or siblings, griefs about our failures and disappointments, frustrations about our limitations, irritations about the state of local or national politics, and despair because of loneliness, bitterness, or communications breakdowns—these things frequently rob us of the delight of play. There is something tremendously freeing about knowing that we don’t have any work to do on the Sabbath because we have deliberately set it all aside. This affects every aspect of our existence. In our whole being, we find ourselves free to play.”

Dawn, Marva.  Keeping the Sabbath Wholly (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1989), pp.15-16.

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