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This post summarizes Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places, pp. 108-118. I’m hoping a short section, focused as it is on only one issue (Sabbath), might draw more into the conversation.
Peterson contends to “play with Christ” in creation we need to cultivate Sabbath and Wonder (next post).
Peterson seems to equate OT Sabbath with NT Lord’s Day. He doesn’t defend his view so much as simply shift the significance in the week from one to the other. I don’t think the OT Sabbath was about worship, but about rest; the Lord’s Day is about worship. Peterson sees the Lord’s Day about rest and worship. Well, that’s the way around an issue: combine them and move on with nice prose.
Sabbath is about quitting, about stopping, about taking a break from our work to we can “orient our work in the work of God” (110). Sabbath is about redemption (Exodus) and social justice (Deuteronomy).
We observe Sabbath, not by watching birds or taking long walks, but by worshipping God and gathering with God’s people. This practice creates creation rhythm in our life.
Work and Sabbath belong together and we learn what each is from the other. “There is more to work than work – there is God” (116). The “un-sabbathed workplace [is] a breeding ground for idols” (116). “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” (117).
“Sabbath-instructed Christians can begin by reimagining, restructuring, and restoring the Lord’s Day as a day that cultivates not-doing, not-saying – freeing the people around us to do nothing on the Lord’s Day” (118).
I’m not a sabbatarian in an exegetical sense: I don’t think Lord’s Day fulfills Sabbath. I do believe we need a day of rest from our work; I do believe we need to gather for worship with God’s people. And so I like the entire sweep of his ideas here, and I like the specifics – but I see him combining Sabbath with Lord’s Day into a day of restful worship.

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