For Sabbath’s Sake: Embracing Your Need for Rest, Worship, and Community

Many Americans balk at the idea of setting aside an entire day for worship, rest, and time with those who matter most to them. In a culture of constant busyness, the lines have blurred between our work and personal lives, and we feel pulled in many directions. Yet we long for more time well spent–unrushed time to be alone, relax with friends and family, and grow closer to God. Many of us seem to have forgotten the ancient spiritual practice that can help us regain balance in our lives: Sabbath.

For Sabbath’s Sake dives into the heart of what keeps us from sabbath. With humor and honesty, J. Dana Trent reveals her own struggles with setting apart a day devoted to God, rest, and community. This book traces the rich history of sabbath, helps readers find ways to overcome barriers to this spiritual practice, and gives them achievable ways to build sabbath into their own lives.

Supplemental Resources

What People are Saying About For Sabbath’s Sake

Dana Trent knows something about you: you’re working too hard, multitasking too fervently, and not giving your soul a rest. She has a prescription for you, and it’s a good one, and on top of that, she’s a delightful writer. So get this book and slow down long enough to read it. You’ll be better off on many levels.

Brian D. McLaren, author of The Great Spiritual Migration

To keep sabbath with our Creator is to learn to imagine the peace and justice that is possible when we work in God’s way. I’m grateful to my sister Dana for pointing us toward this practice that is essential to a prophetic imagination.

Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, author of Reconstructing the Gospel

What a winsome narrator! What sprightly prose! Part memoir, part cultural critique, part historical deep dive, this book will edify you and inspire your own sabbath practice—and will thereby provoke your intimacy with the God whose creation and rest the sabbath hallows.

Lauren F. Winner, author of Wearing God and Mudhouse Sabbath

Dana Trent’s book is a friendly companion for anyone interested in delving into the simple but not easy practice of sabbath. She blends scripture, theology, and personal narrative with a keen eye toward the challenges of finding a savoring pace in a culture of ‘crazy busy.’

MaryAnn McKibben Dana, author of Sabbath in the Suburbs: A Family’s Experiment with Holy Time

We take pride in being busy, even wearing it like a badge of honor. Meanwhile, a gift continues to be offered, an invitation to step away and allow ourselves to enter the fold of sabbath. In For Sabbath’s Sake, J. Dana Trent not only places the gift of sabbath before us through scripture and personal witness, she also offers concrete examples on how to allow the sabbath to hold us and transform us. If you’re tempted to believe you don’t have time for this book, then its lessons might be what you most need for this season of life.

Donna Claycomb Sokol, pastor of Mount Vernon Place United Methodist Church, Washington, DC, and co-author of A New Day in the City

Dana Trent has one message for those in the church who say, “I’m too busy for sabbath keeping”:  your busyness means you need it even more! For Sabbath’s Sake is a spiritual jolt back into learning what it means to set aside time for rest in the age of an ever-beeping smartphone and exploding calendar. It’s just the book every congregation needs to study together for a reminder of our identity as sabbath people.

—Elizabeth Hagan, Baptist pastor and author of Birthed: Finding Grace Through Infertility

Many of us hunger for rest and restoration. J. Dana Trent makes the eloquent and compelling case that a sabbath practice can revolutionize our lives. Her combination of self-revealing, humorous reflection on her own sabbath habits and insightful analysis of the historical, religious, and spiritual meaning of sabbath create a helpful and challenging guide to the reader. She addresses the tough questions that are facing the church and our broader culture today, and reminds us that the sabbath is a sanctuary and priceless gift from God.

—Kate H. Rademacher, author of Following the Red Bird: First Steps into a Life of Faith