OREMUS: 17 February 2005

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Wed Feb 16 23:43:43 GMT 2005

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OREMUS for Thursday, February 17, 2005
Janani Luwum, Archbishop of Uganda, Martyr , 1977

O God, make speed to save us;
O Lord, make haste to help us.

Blessed are you, God of compassion and mercy,
for in these forty days
you lead us into the desert of repentance
that through a pilgrimage of prayer and discipline
we may grow in grace
and learn to be your people once again,
redeemed by your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
For these and all your mercies, we praise you:
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
Blessed be God for ever!

An opening canticle may be sung. 


Psalm 35

Fight those who fight me, O Lord;*
 attack those who are attacking me.
Take up shield and armour*
 and rise up to help me.
Draw the sword and bar the way
   against those who pursue me;*
 say to my soul, 'I am your salvation.'
Let those who seek after my life be shamed and humbled;*
 let those who plot my ruin fall back and be dismayed.
Then I will be joyful in the Lord;*
 I will glory in his victory.
My very bones will say, 'Lord, who is like you?*
 You deliver the poor
   from those who are too strong for them,
   the poor and needy from those who rob them.'
Malicious witnesses rise up against me;*
 they charge me with matters I know nothing about.
They pay me evil in exchange for good;*
 my soul is full of despair.
But when they were sick I dressed in sack-cloth*
 and humbled myself by fasting;
I prayed with my whole heart,
   as one would for a friend or a brother;*
 I behaved like one who mourns for his mother,
   bowed down and grieving.
But when I stumbled,
   they were glad and gathered together;
   they gathered against me;*
 strangers whom I did not know
   tore me to pieces and would not stop.
They put me to the test and mocked me;*
 they gnashed at me with their teeth.
O Lord, how long will you look on?*
 rescue me from the roaring beasts,
   and my life from the young lions.
I will give you thanks in the great congregation;*
 I will praise you in the mighty throng.
Do not let my treacherous foes rejoice over me,*
 nor let those who hate me without a cause
   wink at each other.
For they do not plan for peace,*
 but invent deceitful schemes
   against the quiet in the land.
They opened their mouths at me and said,*
 'Aha! we saw it with our own eyes.'
You saw it, O Lord; do not be silent;*
 O Lord, be not far from me.
Awake, arise, to my cause!*
 to my defence, my God and my Lord!
Give me justice, O Lord my God,
   according to your righteousness;*
 do not let them triumph over me.
Do not let them say in their hearts,
   'Aha! just what we want!'*
 Do not let them say, 'We have swallowed him up.'
Let all who rejoice at my ruin be ashamed and disgraced;*
 let those who boast against me
   be clothed with dismay and shame.
Let those who favour my cause
   sing out with joy and be glad;*
 let them say always, 'Great is the Lord,
   who desires the prosperity of his servant.'
And my tongue shall be talking of your righteousness*
 and of your praise all the day long.

A Song of Jonah (Jonah 2:2-7,9)

I called to you, O God, out of my distress
and you answered me;
out of the belly of Sheol I cried,
and you heard my voice.

You cast me into the deep,
into the heart of the seas,
and the flood surrounded me,
all your waves and billows passed over me.

Then I said, I am driven away from your sight;
how shall I ever look again upon your holy temple?

The waters closed in over me,
the deep was round about me;
weeds were wrapped around my head
at the roots of the mountains.

I went down to the land whose bars closed upon me for ever,
yet you brought up my life from the depths, O God.

As my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, O God,
and my prayer came to you, into your holy temple.

With the voice of thanksgiving, I will sacrifice to you;
what I have vowed I will pay,
deliverance belongs to the Lord!

Psalm 148

Praise the Lord from the heavens;*
 praise him in the heights.
Praise him, all you angels of his;*
 praise him, all his host.
Praise him, sun and moon;*
 praise him, all you shining stars.
Praise him, heaven of heavens,*
 and you waters above the heavens.
Let them praise the name of the Lord;*
 for he commanded and they were created.
He made them stand fast for ever and ever;*
 he gave them a law which shall not pass away.
Praise the Lord from the earth,*
 you sea-monsters and all deeps;
Fire and hail, snow and fog,*
 tempestuous wind, doing his will;
Mountains and all hills,*
 fruit trees and all cedars;
Wild beasts and all cattle,*
 creeping things and winged birds;
Kings of the earth and all peoples,*
 princes and all rulers of the world;
Young men and maidens,*
 old and young together.
Let them praise the name of the Lord,*
 for his name only is exalted,
   his splendour is over earth and heaven.
He has raised up strength for his people
   and praise for all his loyal servants,*
 the children of Israel, a people who are near him.

READING [Job 4:1; 5:1-16]:

Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered:

'Call now; is there anyone who will answer you?
To which of the holy ones will you turn?
Surely vexation kills the fool,
   and jealousy slays the simple.
I have seen fools taking root,
   but suddenly I cursed their dwelling.
Their children are far from safety,
   they are crushed in the gate,
   and there is no one to deliver them.
The hungry eat their harvest,
   and they take it even out of the thorns;
   and the thirsty pant after their wealth.
For misery does not come from the earth,
   nor does trouble sprout from the ground;
but human beings are born to trouble
   just as sparks fly upward.

'As for me, I would seek God,
   and to God I would commit my cause.
He does great things and unsearchable,
   marvellous things without number.
He gives rain on the earth
   and sends waters on the fields;
he sets on high those who are lowly,
   and those who mourn are lifted to safety.
He frustrates the devices of the crafty,
   so that their hands achieve no success.
He takes the wise in their own craftiness;
   and the schemes of the wily
   are brought to a quick end.
They meet with darkness in the daytime,
   and grope at noonday as in the night.
But he saves the needy from the sword of their mouth,
   from the hand of the mighty.
So the poor have hope,
   and injustice shuts its mouth.

For another Biblical reading,
Luke 14:7-14

Words: Charles Coffin, 1736;
trans. John Mason Neale, 1849, and Hymns Ancient & Modern, 1861
Tune: St. Gregory
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Creator of the world, to thee
an endless rest of joy belongs;
and heavenly choirs are ever free
to sing on high their festal songs.

But we are fallen creatures here,
where pain and sorrow daily come;
and how can we, in exile drear,
sing out, as they, sweet songs of home?

O Father, who dost promise still,
that they who mourn shall blessŠd be;
grant us to mourn for deeds of ill,
that banish us so long from thee:

But, weeping, grant us faith to rest
in hope upon thy loving care;
till thou restore us, with the blest,
their songs of praise in heaven to share.

The Benedictus (Morning), the 
Magnificat (Evening), or 
Nunc dimittis (Night) may follow.

Lord, open a path for your Word
To declare the mystery of Christ.

Turn now, O God of hosts;
Behold and tend the vine you have planted.

May your people rejoice and sing,
And your ministers be clothed with salvation.

May they stand and feed your flock
In the strength of your name.

Keep from trouble all those who trust in you
And forget not the poor for ever.

Have mercy, O Lord, upon us,
As we have put our hope in you.

For your Church, O Lord, we pray, especially
the Diocese of Malaita, Melanesia, The Rt Revd Terry Michael Brown, Bishop.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Strengthen us, O Lord, by your grace, 
that in your might we may overcome all spiritual enemies, 
and with pure hearts serve you; 
through Jesus Christ our Lord, 
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, 
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

God of truth,
whose servant Janani Luwum walked in the light,
and in his death defied the powers of darkness:
free us from fear of those who kill the body,
that we too may walk as children of light,
through him who overcame darkness by the power of the cross,
Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.  

Trusting in the compassion of God,
let us pray as our Savior taught us:

- The Lord's Prayer

Nourish our faith, 
increase our hope,
and strengthen our love,
that we may live by your Word;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The psalms are from _Celebrating Common Prayer_ (Mowbray),
(c) The Society of Saint Francis 1992, which is used with permission.

The canticle, the opening thanksgiving and the invitation to the Lord's Prayer
from _Common Worship: Daily Prayer, Preliminary Edition_,
copyright (c) The Archbishops' Council, 2002.

The biblical passage is from The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized
Edition), copyright (c) 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education
of  the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA. Used by
permission. All rights reserved.

The opening prayer of thanksgiving uses a sentence from a preface and the
closing sentence uses phrases from a prayer in _Common Worship:
Services and Prayers for the Church of England_, material from which is
included in this service is copyright (c) The Archbishops' Council, 2000.

The first collect is from _The Proper for the Lesser Feasts and
Fasts_, 3rd edition, (c) 1980 The Church Pension Fund.

The second collect is from _Common Worship: Services and Prayers for
the Church of England_, material from which is included in this service is
copyright (c) The Archbishops' Council, 2000.

The Church in Uganda began with the deaths of martyrs (the Martyrs of
Uganda, 3 June 1886, and James Hannington and his Companions, Martyrs, 29
October 1885). Around 1900, Uganda became a British protectorate, with the
chief of the Buganda tribe as nominal ruler, and with several other tribes
included in the protectorate. In 1962 Uganda became an independent country
within the British Commonwealth, with the Bugandan chief as president and
Milton Obote, of the Lango tribe, as Prime Minister. In 1966, Obote took full
control of the government. In 1971, he was overthrown by General Idi Amin,
Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces. Almost immediately, he began a policy of
repression, arresting anyone suspected of not supporting him. Hundreds of
soldiers from the Lango and Acholi tribes were shot down in their barracks.
Amin ordered the expulsion of the Asian population of Uganda, about 55,000
persons, mostly small shopkeepers from India and Pakistan. Over the next few
years, many Christians were killed for various offenses. A preacher who read
over the radio a Psalm which mentioned Israel was shot for this in 1972.
Early in 1977, there was a small army rebellion that was put down with only
seven men dead. However, Amin determined to stamp out all traces of dissent.
His men killed thousands, including the entire population of Milton Obote's
home village. On Sunday, 30 January, Bishop Festo Kivengere preached on
"The Preciousness of Life" to an audience including many high government
officials. He denounced the arbitrary bloodletting, and accused the government
of abusing the authority that God had entrusted to it. The government
responded on the following Saturday (5 February) by an early (1:30am) raid on
the home of the Archbishop, Janani Luwum, ostensibly to search for hidden
stores of weapons. The Archbishop called on President Amin to deliver a note
of protest at the policies of arbitrary killings and the unexplained
disappearances of many persons. Amin accused the Archbishop of treason,
produced a document supposedly by former President Obote attesting his guilt,
and had the Archbishop and two Cabinet members (both committed Christians)
arrested and held for military trial. The three met briefly with four other
prisoners who were awaiting execution, and were permitted to pray with them
briefly. Then the three were placed in a Land Rover and not seen alive again by
their friends. The government story is that one of the prisoners tried to seize
control of the vehicle and that it was wrecked and the passengers killed. The
story believed by the Archbishop's supporters is that he refused to sign a
confession, was beaten and otherwise abused, and finally shot. His body was
placed in a sealed coffin and sent to his native village for burial there.
However, the villagers opened the coffin and discovered the bullet holes. In the
capital city of Kampala a crowd of about 4,500 gathered for a memorial
service beside the grave that had been prepared for him next to that of the
martyred bishop Hannington. In Nairobi, the capital of nearby Kenya, about
10,000 gathered for another memorial service. Bishop Kivengere was informed
that he was about to be arrested, and he and his family fled to Kenya, as did the
widow and orphans of Archbishop Luwum.
The following June, about 25,000 Ugandans came to the capital to celebrate
the centennial of the first preaching of the Gospel in their country, among the
participants were many who had abandoned Christianity, but who had returned
to their Faith as a result of seeing the courage of Archbishop Luwum and his
companions in the face of death.[James Kiefer]

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