OREMUS: 17 February 2007

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Fri Feb 16 20:39:23 GMT 2007

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OREMUS for Saturday, February 17, 2007 
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 11

In the Lord have I taken refuge;*
 how then can you say to me,
   'Fly away like a bird to the hilltop;
'For see how the wicked bend the bow
   and fit their arrows to the string,*
 to shoot from ambush at the true of heart.
'When the foundations are being destroyed,*
 what can the righteous do?'
The Lord is in his holy temple;*
 the Lord's throne is in heaven.
His eyes behold the inhabited world;*
 his piercing eye weighs our worth.
The Lord weighs the righteous as well as the wicked,*
 but those who delight in violence he abhors.
Upon the wicked he shall rain coals of fire
   and burning sulphur;*
 a scorching wind shall be their lot.
For the Lord is righteous;
   he delights in righteous deeds;*
 and the just shall see his face.

Psalm 13

How long, O Lord;
   will you forget me for ever?*
 how long will you hide your face from me?
How long shall I have perplexity in my mind,
   and grief in my heart, day after day?*
 how long shall my enemy triumph over me?
Look upon me and answer me, O Lord my God;*
 give light to my eyes, lest I sleep in death;
Lest my enemy say, 'I have prevailed over him',*
 and my foes rejoice that I have fallen.
But I put my trust in your mercy;*
 my heart is joyful because of your saving help.
I will sing to the Lord,
   for he has dealt with me richly;*
 I will praise the name of the Lord Most High.

A Song of the Blessed (Matthew 5:3-10)
Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn,
for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek,
for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are those who hunger
and thirst after righteousness,
for they shall be satisfied.

Blessed are the merciful,
for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called children of God.

Blessed are those who suffer persecution
for righteousness' sake,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

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.

FIRST READING [Deuteronomy 9:15-24]:

So I turned and went down from the mountain, while the
mountain was ablaze; the two tablets of the covenant were
in my two hands. Then I saw that you had indeed sinned
against the Lord your God, by casting for yourselves an
image of a calf; you had been quick to turn from the way
that the Lord had commanded you. So I took hold of the
two tablets and flung them from my two hands, smashing
them before your eyes. Then I lay prostrate before the
Lord as before, for forty days and forty nights; I
neither ate bread nor drank water, because of all the sin
you had committed, provoking the Lord by doing what was
evil in his sight. For I was afraid that the anger that
the Lord bore against you was so fierce that he would
destroy you. But the Lord listened to me that time also.
The Lord was so angry with Aaron that he was ready to
destroy him, but I interceded also on behalf of Aaron at
that same time. Then I took the sinful thing you had
made, the calf, and burned it with fire and crushed it,
grinding it thoroughly, until it was reduced to dust; and
I threw the dust of it into the stream that runs down the
At Taberah also, and at Massah, and at Kibroth-hattaavah,
you provoked the Lord to wrath. And when the Lord sent
you from Kadesh-barnea, saying, 'Go up and occupy the
land that I have given you', you rebelled against the
command of the Lord your God, neither trusting him nor
obeying him. You have been rebellious against the Lord as
long as he has known you. 

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!

SECOND READING [Luke 10:21-24]:

At that same hour Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, 'I thank you, Father, Lord
of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the
intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious
will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows who the
Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the
Son chooses to reveal him.'
Then turning to the disciples, Jesus said to them privately, 'Blessed are the eyes that
see what you see! For I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you
see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.' 

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

God of the Covenant,
we are your people through your grace in baptism.

Added one by one to your Church,
you bind us together in repentance and true profession of faith:
We are reborn by water and the Spirit.

Accustomed to preserving our selfish autonomy,
you call us to a life of mutual oversight and shared mission.
We are reborn by water and the Spirit.

Teach us to see each other as sisters and brothers
who share a common birth and a family table:
We are reborn by water and the Spirit.

Show us ways to support one another
that our faith is increased, our hope confirmed
and our love perfected.
We are reborn by water and the Spirit.

Offer through your Church hospitality
to those seeking Christ and hope.
We are reborn by water and the Spirit.

God our Refuge,
deliver us from violence and evil,
and guide us in the paths of righteousness,
that on the day of judgment
we may rejoice to see you face to face;
through Jesus Christ our Redeemer. 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 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

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 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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