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The Sabbath Blog

Keeping It Holy

Keeping It Holy
In a recent incident of Air Canada’s concern and care for a group of Orthodox Jewish passengers, the airline provided exemplary service. The travelers were booked on a flight from New York to Toronto that was delayed. Because of the delay, the group was worried they would arrive after sundown on Friday in Toronto. Their beliefs would have required them to stay in the airport for the next 25 hours—until after the Sabbath had passed—before they would feel free to use transportation to reach their destination.

The airline went the extra mile by requesting priority status in runway and gate assignments. They also asked the other passengers to allow the Jewish group to deplane first in order to accommodate their religious beliefs. In light of recent events on airlines, the crew’s gracious assistance was very refreshing.

As fellow Sabbathkeepers, we should consider how we would respond in similar circumstances. Are we following traditions or actual biblical principles? Jesus asks a fascinating question in response to the Pharisee's allegations against His disciples for picking grain on the Sabbath. He says, “Have you not read…?” and points His hearers back to Old Testament examples of people who broke the status quo, and even the ceremonial laws, in order to take care of their basic needs (Matthew 12:1–8).

Jesus goes on to declare that God desires mercy and not sacrifice (Matthew 12:7). He calls us to work with Him to reach the people around us. In doing this, we sometimes find ourselves needing to adjust our expectations to meet the current situation. Jesus is very clear: The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. He saw the Sabbath as an opportunity to build relationships and restore the image of God in man.

While Jesus did not subscribe to the ‘rules’ of the Jews in His day, He pointed them to a higher rule. He wanted to help them see a bigger picture of the Sabbath—how it is holy time regardless of place or situation because He is there (Genesis 2:2). You can study more about God’s plan for keeping the Sabbath holy by clicking here.