OREMUS: 17 February 2006

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Thu Feb 16 19:40:11 GMT 2006

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OREMUS for Friday, February 17, 2006 
Janani Luwum, Archbishop of Uganda, Martyr , 1977

O Lord, open our lips.
And our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

Blessed are you, O God,
you lead us to the waters of refreshment and new life
through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
He calls us to leave behind the dusty desert 
of withered hopes and dreams
to become a spring of faith
that others may come near to the stream of life. 
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 72

Give the king your justice, O God,*
 and your righteousness to the king's son;
That he may rule your people righteously*
 and the poor with justice;
That the mountains may bring prosperity to the people,*
 and the little hills bring righteousness.
He shall defend the needy among the people;*
 he shall rescue the poor and crush the oppressor.
He shall live as long as the sun and moon endure,*
 from one generation to another.
He shall come down like rain upon the mown field,*
 like showers that water the earth.
In his time shall the righteous flourish;*
 there shall be abundance of peace
   till the moon shall be no more.
He shall rule from sea to sea,*
 and from the River to the ends of the earth.
His foes shall bow down before him,*
 and his enemies lick the dust.
The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall pay tribute,*
 and the kings of Arabia and Saba offer gifts.
All kings shall bow down before him,*
 and all the nations do him service.
For he shall deliver the poor who cries out in distress,*
 and the oppressed who has no helper.
He shall have pity on the lowly and poor;*
 he shall preserve the lives of the needy.
He shall redeem their lives from oppression and violence,*
 and dear shall their blood be in his sight.
Long may he live,
   and may there be given to him gold from Arabia;*
 may prayer be made for him always,
   and may they bless him all the day long.
May there be abundance of grain on the earth,
   growing thick even on the hilltops;*
 may its fruit flourish like Lebanon,
   and its grain like grass upon the earth.
May his name remain for ever
   and be established as long as the sun endures;*
 may all the nations bless themselves in him
   and call him blessed.
Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel,*
 who alone does wondrous deeds!
And blessed be his glorious name for ever!*
 and may all the earth be filled with his glory.
   Amen. Amen.

A Song of Solomon (cf. Song of Songs 8:6-7)

Set me as a seal upon your heart,
as a seal upon your arm;

For love is strong as death, passion fierce as the grave;
its flashes are flashes of fire, a raging flame.

Many waters cannot quench love,
neither can the floods drown it.

If all the wealth of our house were offered for love,
it would be utterly scorned.

Psalm 147:1-12

   How good it is to sing praises to our God!*
 how pleasant it is to honour him with praise!
The Lord rebuilds Jerusalem;*
 he gathers the exiles of Israel.
He heals the brokenhearted*
 and binds up their wounds.
He counts the number of the stars*
 and calls them all by their names.
Great is our Lord and mighty in power;*
 there is no limit to his wisdom.
The Lord lifts up the lowly,*
 but casts the wicked to the ground.
Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving;*
 make music to our God upon the harp.
He covers the heavens with clouds*
 and prepares rain for the earth;
He makes grass to grow upon the mountains*
 and green plants to serve us all.
He provides food for flocks and herds*
 and for the young ravens when they cry.
He is not impressed by the might of a horse,*
 he has no pleasure in human strength;
But the Lord has pleasure in those who fear him,*
 in those who await his gracious favour.

READING [1 Corinthians 11:27-34]:

Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of
the Lord in an unworthy manner will be answerable for the
body and blood of the Lord. Examine yourselves, and only
then eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For all who
eat and drink without discerning the body, eat and drink
judgement against themselves. For this reason many of you
are weak and ill, and some have died. But if we judged
ourselves, we would not be judged. But when we are judged
by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be
condemned along with the world.
So then, my brothers and sisters, when you come together
to eat, wait for one another. If you are hungry, eat at
home, so that when you come together, it will not be for
your condemnation. About the other things I will give
instructions when I come. 

For another Biblical reading,
2 Kings 8:1-6

Words: Charles Wesley (1707-1788), 1746
Tune: Gopsal, Darwall's 148th
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Rejoice the Lord is King!
Your Lord and King adore!
Rejoice, give thanks and sing,
and triumph evermore.
Lift up your heart!
lift up your voice!
Rejoice! again I say, rejoice!

Jesus, the Savior reigns,
the God of truth and love:
when he had purged our stains,
he took his seat above. Refrain

His kingdom cannot fail;
he rules o'er earth and heaven;
the keys of death and hell
are to our Jesus given. Refrain

He sits at God's right hand
till all his foes submit,
and bow to his command,
and fall beneath his feet: Refrain

Rejoice in glorious hope!
Jesus the Judge shall come
and take his servants up
to their eternal home:
We soon shall hear the archangel's voice,
the trump of God shall sound: rejoice!

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

Planting God,
how beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those
who bring good news.

Around your table we are bound together as your Body
for the life of the world.
We pray for your Church, especially in the Diocese of
 Banks & Torres, Melanesia,The Rt Revd Nathan Tome, Bishop.
Grant us a grower's wisdom, O Lord.

Deliver us from impatience
that will not wait for fruit to ripen:
Grant us a grower's wisdom, O Lord.

Save us from forcing others to see what we see
and embrace what we embrace:
Grant us a grower's wisdom, O Lord.

Liberate us from anger rooted in self-justification:
Grant us a grower's wisdom, O Lord.

Fix our gaze upon you
so that we are not overwhelmed by the want and failure of others:
Grant us a grower's wisdom, O Lord.

Sow yourself in our words and deeds
that become food for hungry souls:
Grant us a grower's wisdom, O Lord.

Your kingdom come, O Lord,
with deliverance for the needy,
with peace for the righteous,
with overflowing blessing for all nations,
with glory, honour and praise
   for the only Saviour,
Jesus Christ our Lord. 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.  
Rejoicing in the presence of God here among us,
let us pray in faith and trust:

- The Lord's Prayer

Call us now and we shall awaken,
call us now by name and we shall arise. Amen.

The psalms, first collect and the invitation to the Lord's Prayer are from
_Celebrating Common Prayer_ (Mowbray), (c) The Society of
Saint Francis 1992, which is used with permission.

The canticle is 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 is by Stephen Benner and uses some 
images from a hymn by Thomas Troeger. The closing prayer is by Stephen
Benner and uses some phrases from a song by Marty Haugen.

The intercession is reprinted from _THE DAILY OFFICE: A Book of
Hours of Daily Prayer after the Use of the Order of Saint Luke_, (c)
1997 by The Order of Saint Luke. Used by permission.

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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