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Marva Dawn issues both a timely challenge and a ceaseless invitation to participate in the life of the church. For in that place of service we will find joy and fulfillment. She warns that America has become like the late Roman empire, a place where poverty and immense wealth stand side by side and compassion is drowned by entertainment. Let Dawn's call for social justice and compassion move you to action.
Why is it so hard to serve God these days? Church workers suffer from low morale, while Christians of all stripes struggle to find their way in a culture fixated on sexuality, violence, and wealth. In Keeping the Sabbath Wholly (1989) Marva Dawn introduced the vital Sabbath aspects of resting, ceasing, feasting, and embracing. Now, in The Sense of the Call, she expands these into a way of life for serving God and the Kingdom every single day of the week.
A Sabbath way of life, Dawn asserts, consists of resting in the Kingdom's grace, ceasing by grace those attitudes and actions that hinder the Kingdom, feasting so as to radiate the grace-full splendor of the Kingdom, and embracing the Kingdom's gracious purposes. To this end Dawn teaches skills such as learning to rest in prayer, saying no to busyness, enjoying one's body as God's temple, and embracing the cost of living as a Christian disciple.
Both frank and compassionate, The Sense of the Call will guide Christian servants into a more restful, joy-full life of trust in God.
Marva J. Dawn is a theologian, author, musician, andeducator with Christians Equipped for Ministry, Vancouver,Washington, and Teaching Fellow in Spiritual Theology atRegent College. A scholar with four masters degrees and aPh.D. in Christian Ethics and the Scriptures from theUniversity of Notre Dame, Dr. Dawn has spoken for clergyand worship conferences and seminaries throughout NorthAmerica and in Madagascar and in Eastern and WesternEurope. She has written many books, most of which arepublished by Eerdmans.
Academy of Parish Clergy, Top Ten Books of the Year (2007)
"Last summer when I heard Marva Dawn preach in Toronto, I saw a frail human being physically. But there was nothing frail about her reading of Scripture and her preaching. The biblical text leapt off the page and inspired a kind of gospel-fuelled courage to be the church. . . Dawn has a profound sense of call, not only for herself but also for the church which, in so many ways, has a frailty not always acknowledged."
"The Sense of the Call is packed with Bible studies, illustrations from church history, and personal anecdotes, all geared to convince readers of their need to be regularly reclaimed, revitalized, and renewed."
Eugene H. Peterson
author of The Message
"Inch by inch, row by row . . . Marva Dawn patiently (but not complacently!) works in the garden of God, this planting of sinner-saints in which we live and grow. She waters and weeds, cultivating holy and wise lives. She works at the center, where Jesus is at work with us. There is not a trivial or superfluous word in this book. Dawn is insistent and winsome an American prophet."
author of The Rest of God
"What a holy oddity Marva Dawn is. She juggles the prophetic with the pragmatic, stern warning with giddy invitation, a scholar's exactitude with a child's whimsy. She embodies both human brokenness and divine transformation, writing about both with level calm and quiet authority. Mostly she sees clear-eyed and unflinching the sheer madness of our mere busyness, and she calls us back to the ancient rhythm of Sabbath keeping and, through that, the discovery that the kingdom is among us and has been for a long time."
Edith M. Humphrey
author of Ecstasy and Intimacy
"The Sense of the Call issues both a timely challenge and a ceaseless invitation. . . With conviction and concreteness, Marva Dawn leads us to embrace the gifts of God, the catholic disciplines and teachings of the Church, and the mission of our passionate God, who calls us to participate in the Kingdom and the priesthood. Even where the reader may disagree with her particular diagnosis of ills in Church or society, Dawn consistently and graciously points us toward the One who is the source and fulfillment of all authentic life in the Spirit. Above all, she recalls the Joy that is showered upon those who, in service and restful celebration, find their sustenance in the triune God."