On Sunday 5th July 2020, Lead Apostle Samuel Oppong-Brenyah conducted three Divine Services for the Departed at Old Tafo Congregation due to restrictions on large gatherings. In attendance were members from Tarkwa Maakro and Buokrom Congregations.
1st divine service: The asleep in Christ shall rise again
The Lead Apostle served the first batch of members based on 1 Thessalonians 4 : 13 – 14. In his opening remarks, Lead Apostle admonished members to appreciate and thank God for His continuous love towards us even in this difficult time of the pandemic which has plagued the world. “The pandemic could not stop the natural phenomena of day and night, neither could it stop rain from falling and the sea remains as it is. God still reigns and His love towards us still abounds” Lead Apostle Oppong-Brenya said.
Those who have fallen asleep are the dead. The church in Thessalonica was hoping for the return of the Lord during their life time but that did not happen. They were filled with sorrow and thought their hope was lost. Lead Apostle said those who serve the Lord faithfully will not be forsaken by Him. We shall all die but the dead in the Lord will resurrect when Jesus Christ appears.
2nd divine service: The poor and the needy
With reference to Isaiah 41: 17, the Lead Apostle advised the congregation not to forget about those who are in need when we have enough for ourselves. We may experience challenges in life but the most poor and needy are those who are in the realms of the dead. Equally, there are those who fear the Lord but may not have much in riches; they have freedom in Christ. Then also there are the rich who are inwardly evil; they are also poor and needy.
The good news...the Lord helps those who seek Him. There is time for everything and at the right time the Lord will make a way. A time will come when we will also depart from the world. As we celebrate the services for the departed, let us also prepare ourselves.
3rd divine service: The Lord helps
The last divine serivce was based on Psalm 40:17. The Lead Apostle highlighted that the Lord will not forsake the needy should they turn to Him. We are needy and depend on God. We, as branches cannot do anything if we do not connect our lives to the true vine - Jesus Christ our saviour.
The Leader likened the unredeemed departed souls to those who are also in need and therefore require help. He advised the congregation to always pray and intercede on their behalf so that the Lord may show them mercy.
In conclusion, Lead Apostle Oppong-Brenya admonished members not to be afraid of current happenings, urging that the glory ahead of us is greater than the difficulties of today. “We plead the Lord to show us His mercy and power to stop the affliction which has plagued the world so that we can continue to serve Him and be found worthy on the day of His appearing” concluded the leader.