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Keeping Sabbath Holy

To Sabbath School teachers: This story is for Sabbath, December 23.

By Andrew McChesney


chiaa loved Mother very much. But Mother did something that made Achiaa feel very sad. Mother worked on Sabbath.

Mother owned a store in her house in the African country of Ghana. People came to the store every day to buy milk, bread, eggs, and cookies. But Sabbath was the most popular shopping day. More people bought food on Sabbath than on any other day of the week. Mother made a lot of money on Sabbath even though she didn’t work a full day. She only worked until 9 o’clock. Then she closed the store and went to church.

“Mother,” Achiaa said. “You told me that it’s wrong to sell on Sabbath.”

It was true. Mother had taught Achiaa and her younger brother, Akwasi, that God forbade people from working on Sabbath in the fourth commandment, which says, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work” (Exodus 20:8–10, NKJV).

But Mother kept on working on Sabbath.

“Mother,” said her brother, Akwasi. “It’s wrong to sell on Sabbath.”

But Mother kept on working on Sabbath.

Achiaa and Akwasi prayed for people to stop coming to the house to shop on Sabbath. But people kept coming. Mother got quite annoyed whenever Achiaa asked her to stop selling.

Then Achiaa went away to a special camp meeting for children. For 10 days, she woke up at 4:30 a.m. when a bell rang to call all of the children to pray. With a heavy heart, Achiaa thought about Mother back at home.

“God, the first thing that I want to hear when I return home is that Mother has stopped working on Sabbath,” she prayed.

She prayed the same prayer every morning.

On the last day of camp meeting, Achiaa prayed, “This is our last day. If You have not done anything in answer to my prayers for the past nine days, I’m begging you to do something on this last day. The first thing that I want to hear when I return home is that Mother has stopped working on Sabbath.”

Arriving home later that day, Achiaa was greeted by her brother. He ran out of the house. He didn’t even say hello. He just blurted out, “Mother has stopped selling on the Sabbath!”

Achiaa couldn’t believe her ears. She ran into the house to ask Mother for herself.

“Mother, have you stopped selling on the Sabbath?” she said.

It was true. Mother explained that she had been working on Sabbaths to save money for a new house. She had been hiding the money in a secret place. But while Achiaa was at camp meeting, she had lost the money. She couldn’t remember spending it. She couldn’t remember moving it to a new hiding place. She was certain that no burglar had stolen it. It was just gone. She wondered if God had taken back the money that she had worked to earn on His Sabbath.

“So,” Mother told Achiaa, “I have stopped working on the Sabbath.”

Achiaa was so happy! It had taken a long time, but God had heard her and Akwasi’s prayers.

Mother has never worked again on the Sabbath. Although Mother has never found the missing money, she doesn’t mind. She told Achiaa, “God gave me the money, so it’s fine if He took it back again.”

Today, Achiaa is studying to become a nurse at a college that will receive part of this quarter’s Thirteenth Sabbath Offering. Thank you for planning a generous offering next Sabbath to help more students study at the Seventh-day Adventist Nursing and Midwifery Training College.