A Playlist for the Ten Commandments – Pt. 7

“When your hands are full of thorns, but you can’t quit groping for the rose…                     Lie down. Take a rest with me.”   ~ Bruce Cockburn

Van Gogh - Rest Work after Millet 1890This week we reach the Fourth – and by far the longest – of the Ten Words: remembering the sabbath day, to keep it holy. I grew up in a church where this meant going to Sunday services in the morning and the evening, and not watching TV or listening to records in between. Thankfully my parents did not share this opinion – although if those records woke dad up from his post-Sunday roast nap, there were consequences. Dad knew how to rest on Sundays – something many of us have still not learned.

As technology increasingly interjects itself into our lives, when we literally have the world at our fingertips, for many of us it seems next to impossible to take one day in seven “to rest from all our labours.” Our phones are constantly tempting us to pay attention to something other than the rest we so desperately need. I often wonder if the most counter-cultural thing we can do is to actually take one day a week to rest, to unplug from technology, to “waste time,” to stop consuming. To do something that is life-giving, restorative and NOT work. One of my sabbath rituals is to leisurely cook a big breakfast for the family, listening to my “Sunday morning” playlist, which consists mostly of the songs I grew up with, the songs my dad crooned out as mum accompanied him on the piano. We’ll go for a long walk or hike, play boardgames with friends, gather with our community for a meal, and I will try not to look at a screen of any kind.

The sabbath is central to the Story of God – and provides the vision for a just society where everyone can flourish. When that group of just-freed slaves received this Word, they received the seeds of the end of slavery itself, for the sabbath is a day of rest for all. In a world where slavery is still very much with us, and where we voluntarily sell ourselves into bondage of all kinds, we need the Fourth Word more than ever. And we need songs to sing along the way. So, what song would you add to a sabbath playlist? I chose “Southland of the Heart” from Bruce Cockburn’s wonderful twenty-year young album, “Dart to the Heart.” Add your lyric and the artist in the comments below, and let’s create a playlist to rest by.

The playlist for the Fifth Word is up on Spotify now – listen here: 5: honor your parents. Ben Bainbridge gets a copy of TEN for his suggestion – more for the reason he gave than the song itself!

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16 Responses to A Playlist for the Ten Commandments – Pt. 7

  1. Tim Wood says:

    “As it pierces our bodies and thaws out our hearts, what a great way to start the first day of the rest of my life” Nickel Creek – rest of my life

    “Roommates, friends, lovers – quiet. I’m coming to. I’m turning myself into something a little less promising, a little more useful.” Nickel Creek – rest of my life

  2. Mark says:

    “The Joy of Nothing” by Foy Vance

    Oh, the joy of nothing is the sweetest something
    And I will hold it in my heart
    I will hold it in my heart

  3. michelle Johnson says:

    “What a friend we have in Jesus”!
    Always reminds me of after church lunch with my grandparents

  4. The world’s just spinning
    A little too fast
    If things don’t slow down soon we might not last.
    So just for the moment, let’s be still.

    • seangladding says:

      Mark – for a moment I thought these were lyrics from Darden Smith’s “Days on End” – “how does Mark know Darden Smith?!” – then I saw they’re from The Head and the Heart. So, now I have some new music – and maybe you do too! Check Darden out.

  5. Kara says:

    My grandfather passed away in January 2013 and 2 days later my dad also went to heaven. I had recently started a new job and was working on an advanced degree while also serving in my church’s middle school ministry. I was overwhelmed to say the least. One song that came out around that time was “Worn” by Tenth Avenue North. It sympathized with my feelings and reminded me where to find my rest.

    I’m Tired I’m worn
    My heart is heavy
    From the work it takes
    To keep on breathing
    I’ve made mistakes
    I’ve let my hope fail
    My soul feels crushed
    By the weight of this world

    And I know that you can give me rest
    So I cry out with all that I have left

    Let me see redemption win
    Let me know the struggle ends
    That you can mend a heart
    That’s frail and torn
    I wanna know a song can rise
    From the ashes of a broken life
    And all that’s dead inside can be reborn
    Cause I’m worn

    I know I need to lift my eyes up
    But I’m too weak
    Life just won’t let up
    And I know that you can give me rest
    So I cry out with all that I have left

    Let me see redemption win
    Let me know the struggle ends
    That you can mend a heart
    That’s frail and torn
    I wanna know a song can rise
    From the ashes of a broken life
    And all that’s dead inside can be reborn
    Cause I’m worn

    My prayers are wearing thin
    Yeah, I’m worn
    Even before the day begins
    Yeah, I’m worn
    I’ve lost my will to fight
    I’m worn
    So, heaven come and flood my eyes

  6. Church on Sunday – Green Day
    Sitting on the dock of the bay – Otis Redding
    American Dream – Casting Crowns

  7. Also for fun, Manic Monday by the Bangles because it talks about her hectic week and then says how she wishes it was Sunday because it is her “fun day” and her “I don’t have to run day.”

  8. Bill says:

    A couple of tunes that bring to mind those old-fashioned Sundays:

    “Mighty Spirit” by the Commodores.

    “That’s What I Love About Sunday” by Craig Morgan

  9. clairebrown2004 says:

    Cloud Nothings, “Stay Useless”:
    Can I see
    What’s going wrong with me
    I use to have it all now I’m alone
    I’d never say
    I’m better off this way
    I need something to do somewhere to go

    I need time to stop moving
    I need time to stay useless
    I need time to stop moving
    I need time to stay useless
    I need time to stop moving
    I need time to stay useless
    I need time

    Can I feel
    So utterly unreal
    Like nothing I could do would make things change
    I’m stuck in here
    And I’m tired of everywhere
    I’m never gonna learn to be alone

  10. clairebrown2004 says:

    Queen, “Under Pressure,” and “Heaven for Everyone”

  11. Katy Shultz says:

    Hush by Waterdeep
    When you feel like the days just drone on and on and on
    And you feel like the nights are quickly gone

    And on the inside your heart is gaping wide
    And on the inside you feel like no one’s on your side
    Well, I am

    When you thought you could rest, but you found out you were wrong
    And there’s another need another battle
    Another one more thing that comes along

    And on the inside
    You hear the fall but you hate the falling sound
    And on the inside
    You can’t pick another broken piece up off the ground
    Well I know


    Hush little baby don’t say a word
    Daddy’s gone and bought you a great big heaven to rest in
    He’s bought it with blood and put the seal in your heart
    It’ll give you the hope you need to get up and start again

    When all the things you thought you left behind are still hanging on
    And everything you try to do right ends up all wrong

    And on the inside everyone else seems basically fine
    But on the inside even they won’t let go of the dead and cling to what’s alive
    Well I AM

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