As a church staff we have been going through Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places by Eugene Peterson. His poetic writing style makes for a beautifully enjoyable read. This is his first book in a series of three, the second of which is Eat This Book. I can't wait to read it, but for now, here are a couple quotes from Christ Plays about worship and Sabbath:

"The primary way in which we cultivate fear-of-the-Lord is in prayer and worship--personal prayer and corporate worship. We deliberately interrupt our preoccupation with ourselves and attend to God, place ourselves intentionally in sacred space, in sacred time, in the holy presence--and wait. We become silent and still in order to listen and respond to what is Other than us. Once we get the hang of this we find that this can occur any place and any time. But prayer and worship provide the base.

"'Fear-of-the-Lord' is the best term we have to point to this way of life we cultivate as Christians. The Christian life consists mostly of what God--Father, Son, and Holy Spirit--is and does. But we also are part of it. Not the largest part but still part. A world has been opened up to us by revelation in which we find ourselves walking on holy ground and living in sacred time. The moment we realize this, we feel shy, cautious. We slow down, we look around, ears and eyes alert" (41).

"If there is no Sabbath--no regular and commanded not-working, not talking--we soon become totally absorbed in what we are doing and saying, and God's work is either forgotten or marginalized. When we work we are most god-like, which means that it is in our work that it is easiest to develop god-pretensions. Un-sabbathed, our work becomes the entire context in which we define our lives. We lose God-consciousness, God-awareness, sightings of resurrection. We lose the capacity to sing 'This is my Father's world' and end up chirping little self-centered ditties about what we are doing and feeling" (117).

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