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Lent Course 2024


Session 1


Welcome and Opening Prayer


Course Prayer


God of eternity, teach us to pause.

God of creation, teach us to wonder.

God of Sabbath, teach us to rest.

God of delight, teach us to play.

God of the poor, teach us to share in your work of liberation.

God of love, reconciling us through Christ Jesus,

Fill our lives with your perfect peace. Amen


Life balance is an opportunity to examine our patterns of rest, work and play, and to look afresh at our values and life principles in the light of the Bible’s teaching about the Sabbath.


1.     What is Sabbath?








2.     Why study Sabbath during lent?


Sabbath is ‘the climax of living’… a palace in time which we build …’and an opportunity to mend our tattered lives’. Heschel, The Sabbath: It’s meaning for Modern Man pp 14, 18


Sabbath keeping is often disparaged as not useful, but we certainly do serve the world better out of the wholeness, order, revived spirits, empowered emotions, healthy bodies, renewed minds, authentic relationships, and nurtured sense of ourselves that Sabbath keeping creates.

Marva J Dawn, Keeping The Sabbath Wholly, pg 146


Sabbath is about sharing in God’s enjoyment of creation. Doing no work means going back from the curses of Genesis 3 to the generosity of Chapter 1. Sabbath is to return to Eden.


The Ten Commandments give high priority to the Sabbath - it is to be kept, holy and treasured (Exodus 20:8-11)



What word, image or idea comes to mind when you hear the word Sabbath?






Exodus 20:8-11

8 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

Mark 2:23-3.5

Jesus Is Lord of the Sabbath

23 One Sabbath Jesus was going through the grainfields, and as his disciples walked along, they began to pick some heads of grain. 24 The Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?”

25 He answered, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need? 26 In the days of Abiathar the high priest, he entered the house of God and ate the consecrated bread, which is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions.”

27 Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. 28 So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”







Part of the aim of the course is to help you to live out the Sabbath principles in practical ways. The following are suggestions of things the group might like to do in the time between sessions.

1.     Think about your own patterns of work, rest and play during the following week. You might want to rethink the way that you spend Sunday or your day/time off.

2.    You might like to choose a Lenten discipline in which you give up or cut down something that currently takes up a lot of your time. Take up something that you feel your life currently lack such as a new ‘play ‘ activity. Start keeping a ‘Sabbath Notebook’. In which you notice moments and situations where you experience ‘Sabbath attitudes’. You can do this in written form or as a mental checklist.


Closing Prayers

Preparation for Session 2




Delight, Beauty, Gift


Read Genesis 1:1-2.3


Philippians 4:4-6


‘This life is more than just a read thru…’ The Red Hot Chilli Peppers, ‘Can’t Stop’


How does this phrase resonate with you?

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