OREMUS: 17 February 2012

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Thu Feb 16 17:00:00 GMT 2012

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

Janani Luwum was born in 1922 at Acholi in Uganda. His childhood and youth were spent as a goatherd but he quickly showed an ability to learn and absorb knowledge when given the opportunity. Soon after he became a teacher, he was converted to Christianity and was eventually ordained in 1956, becoming Bishop of Northern Uganda in 1969 and Archbishop of Uganda in 1974. Idi Amin had come to power in Uganda in 1971 as the result of a military coup and his undemocratic and harsh rule was the subject of much criticism by the Church and others. After receiving a letter from the bishops protesting at the virtual institution of state murder, Janani and two of Amin's own government ministers were stated as having been found dead following a car accident. It emerged quickly that they had in fact died on the implicit instructions of the President. Janani's enthusiasm for the good ne ws of Jesus, combined with his willingness to sacrifice even his own life for what he believed in, led him to his martyrdom on this day in 1977.

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

In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus,
who is to judge the living and the dead,
and in view of his appearing and his kingdom,
I solemnly urge you: proclaim the message;
be persistent
whether the time is favourable or unfavourable;
convince, rebuke, and encourage,
with the utmost patience in teaching.
Let us worship God.

Blessed are you, Divine Physician,
healer of bodies and souls,
you stretch our your hand and touch us.
You cleanse our hearts from the sin
that separates us from you and one another.
You recreate us in your own image,
and restore us in Christ,
that we may run the race
and receive the prize of everlasting 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 89

Your love, O Lord, for ever will I sing;*
 from age to age
 my mouth will proclaim your faithfulness.
For I am persuaded
that your love is established for ever;*
 you have set your faithfulness
 firmly in the heavens.
'I have made a covenant
with my chosen one;*
 I have sworn an oath to David my servant:
'"I will establish your line for ever,*
 and preserve your throne
 for all generations."'
The heavens bear witness
to your wonders, O Lord,*
 and to your faithfulness
 in the assembly of the holy ones;
For who in the skies
can be compared to the Lord?*
 who is like the Lord among the gods?
God is much to be feared
in the council of the holy ones,*
 great and terrible
 to all those round about him.
Who is like you, Lord God of hosts?*
 O mighty Lord,
 your faithfulness is all around you.
You rule the raging of the sea*
 and still the surging of its waves.
You have crushed Rahab of the deep
with a deadly wound;*
 you have scattered your enemies
 with your mighty arm.
Yours are the heavens;
the earth also is yours;*
 you laid the foundations of the world
   and all that is in it.
You have made the north and the south;*
 Tabor and Hermon rejoice in your name.
You have a mighty arm;*
 strong is your hand
 and high is your right hand.
Righteousness and justice
are the foundations of your throne;*
 love and truth go before your face.
Happy are the people
who know the festal shout!*
 they walk, O Lord,
 in the light of your presence.
They rejoice daily in your name;*
 they are jubilant in your righteousness.
For you are the glory of their strength,*
 and by your favour our might is exalted.
Truly, the Lord is our ruler;*
 the Holy One of Israel is our king.
You spoke once in a vision
and said to your faithful people:*
 'I have set the crown upon a warrior
 and have exalted one
 chosen out of the people.
'I have found David my servant;*
 with my holy oil have I anointed him.
'My hand will hold him fast*
 and my arm will make him strong.
'No enemy shall deceive him,*
 nor the wicked bring him down.
'I will crush his foes before him*
 and strike down those who hate him.
'My faithfulness and love
shall be with him,*
 and he shall be victorious
 through my name.
'I shall make his dominion extend*
 from the Great Sea to the River.
'He will say to me, "You are my Father,*
 my God and the rock of my salvation."
'I will make him my first-born*
 and higher than the kings of the earth.
'I will keep my love for him for ever,*
 and my covenant will stand firm for him.
'I will establish his line for ever*
 and his throne as the days of heaven.
'If his children forsake my law*
 and do not walk
 according to my judgements;
'If they break my statutes*
 and do not keep my commandments;
'I will punish
their transgressions with a rod*
 and their iniquities with the lash;
'But I will not take my love from him,*
 nor let my faithfulness prove false.
'I will not break my covenant,*
 nor change what has gone out of my lips.
'Once for all I have sworn by my holiness:*
 "I will not lie to David.
'"His line shall endure for ever*
 and his throne as the sun before me;
'"It shall stand fast
for evermore like the moon,*
 the abiding witness in the sky."'
But you have cast off
and rejected your anointed;*
 you have become enraged at him.
You have broken your covenant
with your servant,*
 defiled his crown
 and hurled it to the ground.
You have breached all his walls*
 and laid his strongholds in ruins.
All who pass by despoil him;*
 he has become the scorn of his neighbours.
You have exalted the right hand of his foes*
 and made all his enemies rejoice.
You have turned back
the edge of his sword*
 and have not sustained him in battle.
You have put an end to his splendour*
 and cast his throne to the ground.
You have cut short the days of his youth*
 and have covered him with shame.
How long will you hide yourself, O Lord?
will you hide yourself for ever?*
 how long will your anger burn like fire?
Remember, Lord, how short life is,*
 how frail you have made all flesh.
Who can live and not see death?*
 who can save himself
 from the power of the grave?
Where, Lord, are your
loving-kindnesses of old,*
 which you promised David
 in your faithfulness?
Remember, Lord,
how your servant is mocked,*
 how I carry in my bosom
 the taunts of many peoples,
The taunts your enemies
have hurled, O Lord,*
 which they hurled
 at the heels of your anointed.
Blessed be the Lord for evermore!*
 Amen, I say, Amen.

FIRST READING [Genesis 21:15-21]:

When the water in the skin was gone, Hagar cast the child under one of the bushes. Then she went and sat down opposite him a good way off, about the distance of a bowshot; for she said, 'Do not let me look on the death of the child.' And as she sat opposite him, she lifted up her voice and wept. And God heard the voice of the boy; and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven, and said to her, 'What troubles you, Hagar? Do not be afraid; for God has heard the voice of the boy where he is. Come, lift up the boy and hold him fast with your hand, for I will make a great nation of him.' Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. She went, and filled the skin with water, and gave the boy a drink. 

God was with the boy, and he grew up; he lived in the wilderness, and became an expert with the bow. He lived in the wilderness of Paran; and his mother got a wife for him from the land of Egypt. 

Words: Christina Georgina Rossetti (1830-1894)
Tune: Berkeley, Ymdaith Mwngc

What are these that glow from afar,
These that lean over the golden bar,
Strong as the lion, pure as the dove,
With open arms, and hearts of love?
They the blessed ones gone before,
They the blessed for evermore;
Out of great tribulation they went
Home to their home of heav'n content.

What are these that fly as a cloud,
With flashing heads and faces bow'd;
In their mouths a victorious psalm,
In their hands a robe and a palm?
Welcoming Angels these that shine,
Your own Angel, and yours, and mine;
Who have hedged us, both day and night,
On the left hand and on the right.

Light above light, and bliss beyond bliss,
Whom words cannot utter, lo, who is this?
As a King with many crowns He stands,
And our names are graven upon His hands.
As a Priest, with God-uplifted eyes,
He offers for us His Sacrifice;
As the Lamb of God for sinners slain,
That we too may live, He lives again.

God the Father give us grace
To walk in the light of Jesu's face;
God the Son give us a part
In the hiding place of Jesu's heart;
God the Spirit so hold us up
That we may drink of Jesu's cup;
As our own Champion behold Him stand,
Strong to save us at God's right hand.

SECOND READING [John 15:12-17]:

Jesus said, 'This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.' 
The Benedictus (Morning), 
the Magnificat (Evening), or Nunc dimittis (Night) may follow.

Baptizing God,
you have plunged us into the waters
as death to sin
and have raised us
to be alive to you in joy and service.

For all whose eager and resolute living in you
makes them saints to us:
We thank you, Lord.

For the community made holy in Christ,
the living and the dead,
the near and the far away:
We thank you, Lord.

For an awareness of our kinship
to holy and just men and women:
We thank you, Lord.

For reminding us
that perfection in you is a journey
of consistent love to you and to others:
We thank you, Lord.

For sustaining us
in the faithful use of means of grace,
that we may resolve to live
in your love and peace:
We thank you, Lord.

God of truth,
protector of your people,
come to the aid of all
who are poor and oppressed.
By the power of your life-giving Word
lead us in the ways of peace and integrity,
and give us the help we long for
in Jesus Christ our Savior. 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 the One 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. 
Gathering our prayers and praises into one,
let us pray as our Savior has taught us.

- 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 first collect are from _Celebrating Common Prayer_ (Mowbray), (c) The Society of Saint Francis 1992, which is used with permission. 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 biography is from Exciting Holiness © European Province of the Society of Saint Francis, 1997. The opening sentence is 1 Timothy 4:1-2. The opening prayer of thanksgiving is reprinted from _Revised Common Lectionary Prayers_, copyright (c) 2002 Consultation on Common Texts. 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.

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