More than 650 Seventh-day Adventists captured the attention of residents of Puerto Rico’s capital by staging a first-ever march on the importance of the seventh-day Sabbath and providing seven reasons to observe it.
Pathfinders held up signs and banners, and Adventist Medical Cadets led the march on a Sabbath afternoon in San Juan as hundreds of participants sang and distributed literature that reminded business owners, street vendors, and bystanders of the holy day.
“You could see people coming onto their balconies to see what the music and marching crowds were all about,” said David Sebastian, communication director for the Adventist Church in eastern Puerto Rico, who helped organize the event.
The church holds several marches every year, but this was the first that focused on the Sabbath day, Sebastian said.
The march followed a route from the Capitol building on La Plaza de la Democracia through the Plaza de Armas by the mayoral building and concluded with a praise and worship program back at the Plaza de la Democracia at sundown.
As the activity ended in front of the Capitol building, marchers and onlookers were offered seven reasons to observe the Sabbath: It is a Christian day established at Creation; it is a day for God’s family to partake; it is a day of rest; it is God’s recipe for human stress; it was chosen by God and cannot be changed; it belongs to God; and its observance is a profession of love for Jesus.
March organizers recognized the young people with the most creative banners and signs of the day.
“The truth of the message of the Sabbath is a responsibility we all have as Seventh-day Adventists,” said Migdalia Hernandez, a member of the Maranatha Cayey Adventist Church.
Ramon Rodriguez of the Toa Alta Adventist Church agreed.
“If we could do this activity with all of the churches in eastern Puerto Rico, we could reach so many more people with this message,” he said.
Preparations are being laid for more Sabbath-focused marches.