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Lawful on the Sabbath

Lawful on the Sabbath
After the mass shooting in Florida on early Sunday morning last week, staff from Chick-fil-A restaurants fired up their grills and cooked food for hungry blood donors who were standing in lines near the fast-food diners. The business, which has been under a cloud of controversy for its owner’s outspoken views on traditional marriage, pulled together free meals to hand out on Sunday, a day they have typically been closed in honor of the day they recognize as Sabbath.

G. Shane Morris, writing for a Patheos blog, comments: “Simple. Human. And a total violation of a policy longtime Chick-fil-A addicts have sought for years to overturn. But apparently, these location owners took Jesus’ words in Matthew 12 to heart.” Morris then quotes the story of the man with a withered hand who was healed by Jesus on the Sabbath. [2]

“And behold, there was a man who had a withered hand. And they asked Him, saying, ‘Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?’—that they might accuse Him. Then He said to them, ‘What man is there among you who has one sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not lay hold of it and lift it out? Of how much more value then is a man than a sheep? Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.’ Then He said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand.’ And he stretched it out, and it was restored as whole as the other” (Matthew 12:10–13).

Though Morris, like many Sunday keepers, confuse which day of the week is the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, he rightfully highlights the legalism and hatred that can become associated with keeping God’s day holy. With a touch of tongue-in-cheek, he concludes, “By deciding that chicken was made for the Sabbath, not the Sabbath for chicken, the folks at a fast-food chain gave us a glimpse of the kind of humanity … through which Jesus promises to overcome that hatred.”

According to Jesus’ example, it is a principle of true Sabbath-keeping to not only worship God and set aside our own daily work that provides us with an income, but to serve others who are in need. Though many confuse the first day of the week with the biblical seventh day Sabbath, the spirit of service by these Chik-fil-A employees upholds God’s love in a world filled with hatred.

Also in the News…

U.S. Cement Maker ‘Required Newly Baptized Adventist to Work on Sabbath; The U.S. government sues a ready mix concrete company for religious discrimination against a Sabbath-keeper.