Many of us wrapped the sabbath in old papers, put it away on a shelf in our mental closet, and forgot about it. If we think of it at all, we remember Blue Laws and multiple church services and family regulations, so we are exceedingly reluctant to open up sabbath for another look. Others of us merely use the sabbath as a therapeutic rest period for recovering our strength so that we can be more productive.

Our contributors invite us to open the sabbath package. But be prepared for some jolts--seeing sabbath as a gift instead of just a law, as "resting from our own works" and giving "due place to God's works," and as a call to justice and compassion rather than apathy.

The study guides and lesson plans integrate Bible study, prayer, and worship to help us receive the sabbath as a celebration of whom God has made us to become. The guides can be used in a series or individually. You may download and reproduce them for personal or group use.

Download the entire Sabbath issue and the set of six Study Guides. Or, download individual pieces by clicking the titles below.



  • "Sir, I Have No One," by Heidi J. Hornik, on Murillo's Christ at the Pool of Bethesda
  • "Lord Even of the Sabbath," by Heidi J. Hornik, Manuscript Illuminations of The Healing of the Wounded HandThe Crippled Woman, and The Man Born Blind

Hymn and Worship Service

Inspirational Pieces

Book Reviews

  • "Keeping Sabbath," by Stephen Brachlow
    • Marva Dawn, Keeping the Sabbath Wholly: Ceasing, Resting, Embracing, Feasting
    • Tilden Edwards, Sabbath Time: Understanding and Practice for Contemporary Christians
  • "Sabbath Blessings," by Willow Hambrick
    • Wendell Berry, A Timbered Choir
    • Molly Wolf, Angels and DragonsHiding in Plain Sight, and A Place Like Any Other

Study Guides and Lesson Plans (Download the set of six Study Guides)