Sabbath Keeping: Finding Freedom in the Rhythms of Rest, By Lynne M. Baab

Sabbath Keeping

Finding Freedom in the Rhythms of Rest

by Lynne M. Baab

Sabbath Keeping
  • Length: 132 pages
  • Published: January 06, 2005
  • Imprint: IVP Formatio
  • Item Code: 3258
  • ISBN: 9780830832583

*affiliate partner

Let's give ourselves an A for effort.

  • We keep our minds so preoccupied with work projects that we act and think on autopilot.
  • We keep our kids so occupied with activities that they need day planners before grade school.
  • We keep our schedules so full with church meetings and housekeeping and even entertaining that down-time sounds like a mortal sin.

When we fail to rest we do more than burn ourselves out. We misunderstand the God who calls us to rest--who created us to be people of rest. Let's face it: our rest needs work.

Sabbath recalls our creation, and with it God's satisfaction with us as he made us, without our hurried wrangling and harried worrying. It also recalls God's deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt, and with it God's ability to do completely what we cannot complete in ourselves. Sabbath keeping reminds us that we are free to rest each week.

Eighteen months in Tel Aviv, Israel, where a weekly sabbath is built into the culture, began Lynne M. Baab's twenty-five-year embrace of a rhythm of rest—as a stay-at-home mom, as a professional writer working out of her home and as a minister of the gospel. With collected insights from sabbath keepers of all ages and backgrounds, Sabbath Keeping offers a practical and hopeful guidebook that encourages all of us to slow down and enjoy our relationship with the God of the universe.

"I chose to read this manuscript out of sheer longing and delight because the idea and the reality of sabbath keeping is so compelling to me these days. It is a wonderful book that articulates all the questions that we wonder about and then explores the sabbath as a discipline that soon becomes one of God's greatest gifts to us as human beings. It is a gift that is, as Lynne so eloquently describes it, full of grace, freedom and abundance. Reading this book made me love God more because he thought to craft a gift that is so beautiful and extravagant but also so practical and necessary. The sabbath is a discipline that will save our lives."

Ruth Haley Barton, cofounder of The Transforming Center, spiritual director, author of Invitation to Solitude and Silence

"I've tried so many times to be a better sabbath keeper--but I'm just too busy. And so are my family and friends. We've made a virtue out of being overworked and then rationalizing that as faithfulness. Lynne Baab's book not only called me up short but also called me back to a biblically sound and graciously practical reconsideration of God's gift of sabbath. This is the best book on sabbath that I've seen, and my life is changing after having read it."

Dr. Stephen A. Hayner, Columbia Theological Seminary

"Sabbath is not just a day off. It is a way of life, a gift of grace. To rest, to sabbath, to stop--these are ways of acknowledging and receiving that gift. Drawing from the wisdom of the best thinkers on this subject and her own deep experience of the power in 'stopping,' Lynne Baab guides us to a place of rest. She exhorts us to walk in the 'rhythms of rest,' and to realize that keeping sabbath is a way of affirming the deep love of God that cannot be earned through frenetic activity. I recommend this practical and life-giving book."

Keri Wyatt Kent, author of God's Whisper in a Mother's Chaos, The Garden of the Soul and Breathe: Creating Space for God in a Hectic Life (2005)

"Dorothy Bass once wrote that the commandment to observe sabbath is the only one people brag about breaking--being busy is equated with being significant. Lynne Baab has rediscovered the gift of sabbath keeping and offers wise counsel on the importance of doing nothing."

John Ortberg, author of If You Want to Walk on Water, You've Got to Get Out of the Boat

"Every voice prodding us to keep the sabbath in these hectic times is urgently needed. Lynne Baab's voice is clear; her suggestions apply to a great diversity of people; her own practice offers an excellent model. Keeping the sabbath changed my life; I pray that you too know the freedom of its rest."

Marva Dawn, author of Keeping the Sabbath Wholly and Unfettered Hope

"Finally we have a book on the sabbath that avoids the polemics of sabbath law and recovers the biblical and practical experience of sabbath rest. Lynne Baab reminds us that we do not just keep the sabbath as a religious ritual, but the sabbath keeps us as a gracious gift of renewal. Regardless of one's tradition, this is a book that will provide both a theological and practical guide for creating an intentional sabbath experience. This is a 'one size fits all' prescription for maintaining spiritual fitness in a secular culture running at a 24-7 rate. Read it, practice it, and find rest for your soul."

Ray S. Anderson, Senior Professor of Theology and Ministry, Fuller Theological Seminary

"Lynne Baab is passionate about the sabbath. Having personally experienced the spiritual enrichment of sabbath keeping, she writes to entice the reader to gratefully accept God's gracious invitation to sabbath rest and renewal. She explores Jewish and Christian sabbath traditions and writings, plus practices of her friends and her family, in this gentle yet challenging book that is practical and practicable. It comes from her heart and will speak to yours. It could change your lifestyle and enhance your relationship with God!"

Don Postema, author of Catch Your Breath and Space for God

"Sabbath Keeping is not just a gentle and informative introduction to sabbath; it is an inspiration. Without question, this is the best book I've read in years on the art and discipline of keeping sabbath. We live in an age of hurry, an age of multitasking and stress; we could not need Lynne Baab's book more."

Lauren F. Winner, author of Girl Meets God and Mudhouse Sabbath

"Rest. Delight. Are such things even possible in the 21st century? "Absolutely, believes Lynne M. Baab, author of Sabbath Keeping: Finding Freedom in the Rhythms of Rest. 'The meaning of the word Sabbath is "stop, cease, desist, pause, rest,"' she points out. 'The Sabbath is a concrete, practical, doable way to build rest into our schedules.'"

As cited in Margaret Renkl, "A Day of Rest," Ladies' Home Journal, June 09

Baab weaves a compelling argument for incorporating Sabbath keeping into one?s personal life. Baab has taken a subject that could potentially be guilt-inducing and treated it with gentleness.

Christian Library Journal, June 2007

"Winsome, passionate and persuasive, [Sabbath Keeping] will convince many Christians of the continuing relevance of the Fourth Commandment."

Publishers Weekly, December 20, 2004 (starred review)


1. A Gift for Our Time
2. What Happens When Everything Stops
3. Does God Get Tired? The Sabbath in Scripture and Christian History
4. A Day Without a "To Do" List
5. The Making of a Sabbath Celebration
6. Too Busy to Rest? Obstacles to Keeping a Sabbath
7. Going It Alone and Other Practical Issues
8. Call the Sabbath a Delight
Appendix A: Some Jewish Sabbath Prayers
Appendix B: For Further Reading
About the Author
Scripture Index


You May Also Like

Lynne M. Baab

Lynne M. Baab is the author of numerous books and Bible studies. A Presbyterian minister, she completed a PhD in communication at the University of Washington in 2007 and moved with her husband to Dunedin, New Zealand, where she taught pastoral theology at the University of Otago for ten years. She returned to her home city, Seattle, in 2017 and still supervises graduate students for her university in New Zealand. Lynne is the author of several novels and ten Christian books, including A Renewed Spirituality, Sabbath Keeping, Fasting, and Friending. She has written three LifeGuide Bible Studies: Prayers of the Old Testament, Prayers of the New Testament, and Sabbath: The Gift of Rest.