Every year, the New Apostolic church intercedes for the dead on 3 occasions; we do so by remembering them in fervent prayer in special divine services called Service for the Departed. Congregational rectors Shepherd Ennin and Community Evangelist Aikins conducted the second of such services at Dunkwa-On-Offin and Assin-Fosu respectively on Sunday, 7th July, 2019.
The text word for both services was taken from Ezekiel 34: 12 ‘As a shepherd seeks out his flock on the day he is among his scattered sheep, so will I seek out my sheep and deliver them from all the places where they were scattered on a cloudy and dark day’.
Christ, a Good Shepherd for the Living and the Dead
Shepherd Ennin, in his sermon, mentioned that Jesus Christ, as a good and exemplary shepherd, takes care of all mankind; He loves and cares for all, even those in the beyond. However, we may be ‘scattered’ from His fold through various such ways:
* being baptized and staying away from church
* not communing with Christ through the partaking of Holy Communion
* death in unrepentance
Nevertheless, just as “Christ seeks out for mankind (scattered sheep) to salvation, so must we seek out for our brothers and sisters who are scattered”.
The attendance for this divine service was 100, including children and a guest.
God Wants to Save All Sinners
Congregational Rector Aikins in his sermon to 370 souls compared the salvation of Jesus to the redemption of the Israelites (scattered sheep) from captivity in Babylon by God (the Good Shepherd).
He added that this image also applies to the souls in the beyond; Jesus responds to the call of all who yearn for salvation but are helpless, and also offers an opportunity for those who have turned away from Him. He urged the congregation that God requires of us to proclaim His word to ‘the lost’ and make them feel His love.
Priest Richard Morgan and Priest Eric Ampa assisted the service.