Why Keep the Sabbath?
A Brief Review of
24/6: Prescription for a Healthier, Happier Life
Reviewed by Leslie Starasta.
Dr. Matthew Sleeth’s newest book 24/6: A Prescription for a Healthier, Happier Life is the most recent book on the topic of keeping the Sabbath. Many books on Sabbath keeping read like a technical manual describing in detail how to keep the Sabbath. Sleeth differs in his approach by emphasizing the health aspects of keeping the Sabbath, as befits his training as a doctor, in addition to the spiritual benefits.
24/6 is divided into four parts. Sleeth begins by focusing on our busy 24/7 world and how people have lost sight of what is important. He then transitions to why we need to have a 24/6 schedule and how such a schedule could transform us. The third section describes ways that Sleeth and his family have chosen to keep the Sabbath and finishes in the final section by emphasizing how these practices have changed them. Several appendices at the end of the book provide a selection of Sabbath scriptures, quotes, and blessings.
Sleeth uses numerous anecdotes to convey his points in 24/6 and draws particularly from his own experiences as a busy doctor. These anecdotes help to make the book readable and not preachy. As he moves through the book, he illustrates the difference Sabbath keeping has made in his life and that of his family. He includes numerous Biblical accounts as well. Sleeth utilizes Sabbath poems, which by nature require a reader to slow down, to introduce each section.
24/6 is recommended as a resource for individuals who are beginning to think about keeping the Sabbath or who are struggling with life-balance issues. Small groups who are exploring these issues will also find this a useful resource. Churches who wish to explore Sabbath keeping as a community will want to include this among their resources. Matthew Sleeth’s emphasis on why to keep the Sabbath (versus how) is a welcome contribution.