This year’s first Divine Service for the Departed in the Cape Coast district was a special one. It coincided with the 20th anniversary of the departing of the late Bishop Nicholas Asenso of the Cape Coast Apostle area, who passed on whiles still in active service for the Church. It was a joint service, led by Lead Apostle Samuel Oppong-Brenya, for the members of the Cape Coast district. Also in attendance were the family and friends of the late Bishop.
The bible text for the service was read from Revelation 1:17b-18; “Do not be afraid; I am the First and Last. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.”
The Lead Apostle remarked in his introduction that “those alive know they can get to the house of the Lord whenever they like, but the departed must be invited and today is the day”. The Leader touched on the works of the late Bishop and said that over 20 years ago a servant of God lived and served in the Cape Coast Apostle area. He reminded that many in the congregation might not know him and those who knew him might even forget him, “but the departed Bishop was here and has finished his works”.
The living and the dead
The Leader examined the difference between the living and the dead and averred it is the flesh and bones that makes the difference. “When you take that one out, the dead and the living are the same.” The Lead Apostle stressed that the dead see but the living speak. He pointed out that our faith expresses that Jesus Christ sacrificed Himself and has bought and paid for the transgression of all mankind. He remarked the Chief Apostle has the authority to intercede for the departed and those alive are also helpers in that.
The new plan of God and hope for mankind
“There is hope,” emphasized the Lead Apostle, "do not be afraid, know that God has a new plan for mankind by saving those who could not call upon Him. Do not let your heart be troubled, our Lord Jesus Christ has overcome. He is the Alpha and the Omega”. The Lead Apostle reiterated that Jesus Christ;
- died and is alive and death could not overcome Him.
- has power over death and Hades and has overcome for both the living and the dead.
“Beloved, let us console ourselves that with Jesus Christ there is hope for us,” Lead Apostle Oppon-Brenya remarked in his conclusion.
District Rectors Asuah and Amponsah of Asikuma and Dwennama district assisted in the service.
Biography of the late Bishop Nicholas Asenso
The late Bishop Nicholas Asenso lived from 1954 – 2002. He was ordained deacon in the early 1970s, rose through the ministerial ranks and was ordained Shepherd in 1982 at Osu. He and one Priest Ayiku started the Shiashie congregation which has grown to become the East Legon congregation in the Accra East district. The late Bishop Asenso was ordained Bishop in 1994 and moved to Cape Coast with his family to work in the Cape Coast Apostle Working Area under the leadership of Apostle Robert Ashie-Kotei. He passed on to glory on October 28, 2002.