“Slow Theology” Podcast Host AJ Swoboda Unpacks Biblical Rest and Sabbath in Chapel

The author and popular podcast host unpacked Biblical rest and Sabbath for the ONU community during his visit to chapel. Watch the video!
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Seth Hurd

March 1, 2024 Campus Life, Spiritual Life

AJ Swoboda speaking in Centennial Chapel at podium

On Feb. 28 and 29, AJ Swoboda, an esteemed author and host of the popular podcast “Slow Theology: Simple Faith for Chaotic Times,” recently delivered a sermon in chapel to remind the ONU community about rest and sabbath.

Swoboda opened with an emphasis on the importance of rest, not just as a physical necessity, but as a spiritual discipline. He shared a personal story about reading the Christmas story to his family, humorously highlighting how his son’s request to play video games during a vulnerable family moment led to a deeper understanding of truth and simplicity in children.

“You know what I love about kids is that they say what is true,” he reflected, emphasizing the value of straightforwardness and honesty in both our spiritual and everyday lives.

Delving into the theology of rest, Swoboda connected the act of resting with the Biblical commandment of observing the Sabbath. He argued that true rest is not just about physical relaxation but about realigning with God and his rhythms.

“God often will offend your mind to reveal your heart,” Swoboda remarked, challenging listeners to embrace Biblical teachings even when they seem counterintuitive or challenging.

Furthermore, Swoboda shared practical advice on observing the Sabbath, drawing from his own 18-year practice. He talked about the ritual of turning off phones and engaging in simple, restful activities like making pancakes, watching movies, and spending time with family. His emphasis was not on legalistic observance but on the heart of the Sabbath – rest, joy, and connection with God and family.

Swoboda’s message struck a chord with the audience, prompting reflection on the importance of rest in a culture often driven by busyness and productivity. His call to embrace the Sabbath as a gift and a commandment was both inspiring and challenging.

This chapel message can be viewed in its entirety here.

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Seth Hurd

Seth Hurd (’06, ’08 MOL, ’12 M. Hist) is the founder of Manx Solutions. He lives in St. Louis, MO with his wife Amanda, and daughters Ava and Emery.

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