"Sabbath keeping," notes Donna Schaper, an Area Minister for the United Church of Christ, writer, and popular retreat leader, "is a spiritual strategy: it is a kind of judo. The world's commands are heavy; we respond with light moves. The world says work; we play. The world says go fast; we go slow. These light moves carry sabbath into our days, and God into our lives."
Seen from this spiritual perspective, sabbath keeping in our time is counter-cultural, an act of "faithful resistance." How do we keep this day holy? By praying, being still, doing nothing. It is a chance for us, in theologian Heather Murray Elkins's felicitous phrase, "to altar time."
Donna Schaper comes up with a handful of ways to keep the sabbath. One is to rest in the beauty of music and let it carry us to God. Another is to clear away the clutter that keeps us from giving our attention to important matters. We can make time float — suspend it — through prayer. We can bring body and spirit together by caring for our flesh. And we can slow down and take time to remember the innumerable blessings of our lives. Sabbath Keeping is a devotional treasure.