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.

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