It’s a mindset.
I think the distinction is important to note, lest we recovering Pharisees decide to put Sabbath observance on the List Of Tasks To Ensure Holiness. (You might remember – that didn’t work out so well last time.)
Certainly, the celebrating of Sabbath in a tangible form is key to knowing why God gave us Sabbath as a gift. Sabbath in theory only isn’t Sabbath at all.
But it’s not enough to sit still for a day, rigidly avoid work and somberly give the executives of Chick-fil-A a gold star for shining a light in the darkness.
True Sabbath involves both the body and the soul.
I am grateful to Mark Buchanan for making this explicitly clear in his beautiful work, “The Rest of God” (which is easily my favorite Sabbath book, by the way).
Sabbath is a both a day and an attitude…. It is both time on a calendar and a disposition of the heart. It is a day we enter, but just as much a way we see. Sabbath imparts the rest of God – actual physical, mental, spiritual rest, but also the rest of God – the things of God’s nature and presence we miss in our busyness.Both are required. For me to honor the Sabbath, both my days and my mind must change.
You see now why it’s such an overwhelming task. And why I am so hungry for it.