The Spacious Sabbath

One of the promises of Sabbath keeping is a re-ordering of time.  In our culture we are told that time is money and if the return on investment isn’t high enough we should invest elsewhere.  But Sabbath takes a step away from the always productive, always on, 24/7 model.

One way that I am living into this invitation is to observe Sabbath from evening to evening.  And the best part of this simple shift?  It makes sleep a part of the equation!  It hallows the least productive time of our day and makes rest sacred.  What a gift!

I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety. –Psalm 4.8

This shift has also let me reimagine the time that’s available.  It’s added a measure of spaciousness to the 24 hours.

  • There’s the evening of Saturday–where we sometimes make a leisurely, more celebratory meal together.
  • There’s night–where I might say compline before I go to sleep.
  • There’s Sunday morning–where I might make muffins or waffles or go for a run.
  • There’s church and a quick lunch before naps.
  • And there’s the open afternoon.

It’s so restorative to have  these chunks of time creating space for a deep breath.  Abraham Joshua Heschel says that Sabbath is an architecture in time.  Instead of a holy place or pilgrimage site located in a particular place, Sabbath creates that same beauty and awe in time.


  1. I adored Heschel’s book, “The Sabbath”.
    I’m definitely trying to carve out more time for rest and connecting with God in my weekly rhythm and appreciate your insights.

  2. “The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath.” What a gift! Thank you, Father.

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