OREMUS: 29 October 2009

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Wed Oct 28 17:00:00 GMT 2009


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OREMUS for Thursday, October 29, 2009
James Hannington, Bishop of Eastern Equatorial Africa, Martyr in Uganda, 1885

Lord, open our lips,
and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

Blessed are you, O God.
We praise you for creating this world in all beauty,
for redeeming the world through Christ, our Lord,
and for sending us the gift of your Spirit
to encourage, instruct, and sustain us.
We long for your Spirit to work among us now,
to inspire our praise, to challenge us with your truth,
and to equip us for service in your world. 
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. 
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Psalm 141

O Lord, I call to you; come to me quickly;*
 hear my voice when I cry to you.
Let my prayer be set forth in your sight as incense,*
 the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.
Set a watch before my mouth, O Lord,
   and guard the door of my lips;*
 let not my heart incline to any evil thing.
Let me not be occupied in wickedness with evildoers,*
 nor eat of their choice foods.
Let the righteous smite me in friendly rebuke;
   let not the oil of the unrighteous anoint my head;*
 for my prayer is continually against their wicked deeds.
Let their rulers be overthrown in stony places,*
 that they may know my words are true.
As when a plough turns over the earth in furrows,*
 let their bones be scattered at the mouth of the grave.
But my eyes are turned to you, Lord God;*
 in you I take refuge; do not strip me of my life.
Protect me from the snare which they have laid for me*
 and from the traps of the evildoers.
Let the wicked fall into their own nets,*
 while I myself escape.

Psalm 142

I cry to the Lord with my voice;*
 to the Lord I make loud supplication.
I pour out my complaint before him*
 and tell him all my trouble.
When my spirit languishes within me, you know my path;*
 in the way wherein I walk they have hidden a trap for me.
I look to my right hand and find no one who knows me;*
 I have no place to flee to and no one cares for me.
I cry out to you, O Lord;*
 I say, 'You are my refuge,
   my portion in the land of the living.'
Listen to my cry for help,
   for I have been brought very low;*
 save me from those who pursue me,
   for they are too strong for me.
Bring me out of prison,
   that I may give thanks to your name;*
 when you have dealt bountifully with me,
   the righteous will gather around me.

Psalm 143

Lord, hear my prayer,
   and in your faithfulness heed my supplications;*
 answer me in your righteousness.
Enter not into judgement with your servant,*
 for in your sight shall no one living be justified.
For my enemy has sought my life
   and has crushed me to the ground;*
 making me live in dark places
   like those who are long dead.
My spirit faints within me;*
 my heart within me is desolate.
I remember the time past;
   I muse upon all your deeds;*
 I consider the works of your hands.
I spread out my hands to you;*
 my soul gasps to you like a thirsty land.
O Lord, make haste to answer me; my spirit fails me;*
 do not hide your face from me
   or I shall be like those who go down to the Pit.
Let me hear of your lovingkindness in the morning,
   for I put my trust in you;*
 show me the road that I must walk,
   for I lift up my soul to you.
Deliver me from my enemies, O Lord,*
 for I flee to you for refuge.
Teach me to do what pleases you, for you are my God;*
 let your good Spirit lead me on level ground.
Revive me, O Lord, for your name's sake;*
 for your righteousness' sake, bring me out of trouble.

FIRST READING [Ecclesiastes 3:1-2, 9-15]:

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: 
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; 

What gain have the workers from their toil? I have seen the business that God has given to everyone to be busy with. He has made everything suitable for its time; moreover, he has put a sense of past and future into their minds, yet they cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. I know that there is nothing better for them than to be happy and enjoy themselves as long as they live; moreover, it is God’s gift that all should eat and drink and take pleasure in all their toil. I know that whatever God does endures for ever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it; God has done this, so that all should stand in awe before him. That which is, already has been; that which is to be, already is; and God seeks out what has gone by.

HYMN 
Words: Elizabeth Cosnett (born 1936)
© 1980 Stainer & Bell Ltd
Tune: Epworth

Can man by searching find out God
Or formulate his ways? 
Can numbers measure what he is
Or words contain his praise? 

Although his being is too bright
For human eyes to scan, 
His meaning lights our shadowed world
Through Christ, the Son of Man. 

Our boastfulness is turned to shame, 
Our profit counts as loss, 
When earthly values stand beside
The manger and the cross. 

We there may recognise his light, 
May kindle in its rays, 
Find there the source of penitence, 
The starting-point for praise. 

There God breaks in upon our search, 
Makes birth and death his own: 
He speaks to us in human terms
To make his glory known.

SECOND READING [1 Timothy 5:17-end]:

Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honour, especially those who labour in preaching and teaching; for the scripture says, ‘You shall not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain’, and, ‘The labourer deserves to be paid.’ Never accept any accusation against an elder except on the evidence of two or three witnesses. As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest also may stand in fear. In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of the elect angels, I warn you to keep these instructions without prejudice, doing nothing on the basis of partiality. Do not ordain anyone hastily, and do not participate in the sins of others; keep yourself pure. 

No longer drink only water, but take a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments. 

The sins of some people are conspicuous and precede them to judgement, while the sins of others follow them there. So also good works are conspicuous; and even when they are not, they cannot remain hidden. 

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

Prayer:
We give you praise and thanks, O God, for all gifts of
love we have received from you, and for your persistent
mercy in Jesus Christ. Especially we thank you for
     work we have accomplished pleasing to you...
                         (We thank you, Lord.)
     the faithful witness of Christian people...
     the example of righteousness we see in parents and teachers...
     the innocence and openness we see in children...
     all works of Christian compassion...

We give you our cares and concerns, O God, because we
know you are kind and care for your children in every
circumstance. Especially we pray for
     those who struggle with doubt and despair...
            (Lord, hear our prayer.) 
     people afflicted with disease...
     those called to special ministries...
     people neglected or abused...
     Baptist, Disciples of Christ, and other free churches...

Lord God, our protector and guide,
who made us knowing both good and evil:
receive our prayer and, by your wisdom,
help us to discern and desire all that is good,
that the offering of our lives may be acceptable to you;
through Jesus Christ,
who suffered the darkness of torment and trial
and now is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
for ever and ever. Amen.
		
Grant, O God, 
that we who this day commemorate 
your servant James Hannington and his fellow-martyrs of Uganda, 
may, by their courage and devotion, be stirred up 
to a deeper love of our Savior 
and to perseverance in the Christian calling;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Gathering our prayers and praises into one,
let us pray as our Savior has taught us.

- The Lord's Prayer

To Jesus Christ, who loves us
and freed us from our sins by his blood
and made us to be a kingdom,
priests serving his God and Father,
to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
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The psalms 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 is adapted from a prayer in _The Worship Sourcebook_, (c) 2004, CRC Publications. Used with permission. The closing prayer is Revelation 1:5-6, NRSV

Among the new nations of Africa, Uganda is the most predominantly Christian.
Mission work began there in the 1870's with the favor of King Mutesa, who
died in 1884. However, his son and successor, King Mwanga, opposed all
foreign presence, including the missions.
James Hannington, born 1847, was sent out from England in 1884 by the
Anglican Church as missionary Bishop of Eastern Equatorial Africa. As he was
travelling toward Uganda, he was apprehended by emissaries of King Mwanga.
He and his companions were brutally treated and, a week later, 29 October
1885, most of them were put to death. Hannington's last words were: "Go tell
your master that I have purchased the road to Uganda with my blood."
The first native martyr was the Roman Catholic Joseph Mkasa Balikuddembe,
who was beheaded after having rebuked the king for his debauchery and for
the murder of Bishop Hannington. On 3 June 1886, a group of 32 men and
boys, 22 Roman Catholic and 10 Anglican, were burned at the stake. Most of
them were young pages in Mwanga's household, from their head-man, Charles
Lwanga, to the thirteen-year-old Kizito, who went to his death "laughing and
chattering." These and many other Ugandan Christians suffered for their faith
then and in the next few years. [James Kiefer, abridged]



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