FRIDAY THE SEVENTEENTH OF FEBRUARY, 2017
* JANANI LUWUM *
We give you thanks, O God,
that your nature is love.
Whenever we hurt you,
you forgive us;
whenever we try to push you away,
you reach out to draw us closer;
whenever we forget you,
you remain by our side in readiness;
for your capacity to love
is beyond measure.
Enfold us in your love
that we might find the strength
to love others
as you love us. Amen.
PSALM FORTY-FIVE ( abridged )
Behold our defender, O God,
and look upon the face of your anointed.
My heart is astir with gracious words;
as I make my song for the king,
my tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
You are the fairest of men;
full of grace are your lips,
for God has blest you for ever.
Ride on and prosper in the cause of truth
and for the sake of humility and righteousness.
Your throne is God's throne, for ever;
the sceptre of your kingdom is the sceptre of righteousness.
You love righteousness and hate iniquity;
therefore God, your God, has anointed you
with the oil of gladness above your fellows.
All your garments are fragrant with myrrh, aloes and cassia;
from ivory palaces the music of strings makes you glad.
Kings' daughters are among your honourable women;
at your right hand stands the queen in gold of Ophir.
Hear, O daughter; consider and incline your ear;
forget your own people and your father's house.
So shall the king have pleasure in your beauty;
he is your lord, so do him honour.
"I will make your name to be remembered
through all generations;
therefore shall the peoples
praise you for ever and ever."
Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever. Amen.
Behold our defender, O God,
and look upon the face of your anointed.
Lord our God,
bring your bride, your holy Church,
with joy to the marriage feast of heaven,
and unite us with your anointed Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
MEDITATION by Tim Madsen
Janani Luwum, martyr: Idi Amin’s Becket
Today Saint Laika’s remembers Archbishop Janani Luwum, of Uganda, martyred during the brutal reign of Idi Amin.
In 1971, General Idi Amin, Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces overthrew the legitimate government of Uganda. 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 fifty-five thousand persons, mostly small shopkeepers from India and Pakistan. Over the next few years, many Christians were killed for various offences. A preacher who read over the radio a psalm which mentioned Israel was shot for this in 1972.
In 1974 Janani Luwum became Archbishop of Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Boga-Zaire. Idi Amin’s maniacal purges of all whom he considered dissenters continued and tensions were ratcheted higher. In early February 1977 the Archbishop called on President Amin to deliver a note of protest, signed by nearly all the bishops of Uganda, against the policies of arbitrary killings and the unexplained disappearances of many persons. Amin accused the Archbishop of treason, and had the Archbishop and two cabinet members (both committed Christians) arrested and held for military trial.
The trial began and ended on the sixteenth of February 16th, 1977. The Archbishop was not allowed to speak. Afterwards, he and the two cabinet ministers were taken to a Land Rover, driven off, and never seen alive again. The government put out a story that the Land Rover had crashed and the Archbishop had been killed. They placed his body in a sealed coffin and sent it to his home village for burial. Villagers broke open the coffin and saw Luwum’s bullet-ridden body.
Amin fled Uganda in 1979 for Libya and Saudi Arabia where he lived out his life in exile until his death in 2003.
Scripture: In the twelfth chapter of "John" at verse twenty-four, we read:
"Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit."
... for peace in the world.
... for the people of Uganda.
... for the people of lands under military rule or oppressed by dictators.
... for the people of Libya celebrating their national day today, that peace may come to their troubled land.
... for those killed or injured when an ISIS bomber blew himself up in the shrine of Sufi saint Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in the town of Sehwan in Sindh province, Pakistan. DETAILS
... for those who have died and for those who mourn their passing.
... for those who are unwell and for those caring for them.
... for those, both close to us and far off, who we hold in our personal prayers.
... for ourselves.
THE LORD'S PRAYER
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.
From "Fellowship with God" by William Temple:
To all who are sincere with themselves there come dry, dead periods, when for our feelings at any rate our religion seems utterly empty. We say our prayers, but they seem to mean nothing. Sometimes those periods last for months together, sometimes they pass after a day or two. There is a rhythm in the life of the soul at least in its growth, which lasts most, if not all, of our lives which is like the rhythm of the seasons. There is a winter to be passed through before the spring and summer return. No doubt this is a sign of immaturity, and a few great souls pass beyond it before they die; but those who do so often tell us, as Saint John of the Cross tells us, that before the open vision of God is reached we have to pass through " the Dark Night of the Soul." What they experience in vivid intensity is what comes to all of us according to our spiritual measure.
So when the dry times come, when winter seems to have set in, do not be dismayed or rebellious. It is a normal feature of growth. But take great care of two things. Be careful first that the sense of alienation from God is not caused and sustained by some continued course of wrongdoing or wrong thinking. To defy conscience even in small ways is a sure method of sterilising the spiritual life. But be careful also to keep in mind the real nature of your spiritual hunger. What you need is God; not some gift of God in joyous confidence, or in assurance that all is well with your friends in the other world, nor any other of his priceless boons. What you need is God; not spheres of service nor hopes of world reconstruction, nor certainty of heaven after death. What you need is God himself the eternal, almighty and all-loving father. Having God you will have also all the other things that our souls rightly crave, but which apart from him can never satisfy.
"Like as the hart desireth the water-brooks, so longeth my soul after thee, God. My soul is athirst for God, yea, even for the living God."
"Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us."
O God, whose son, the good shepherd, laid down his life for the sheep: we give you thanks for your faithful shepherd, Janani Luwum, who after his saviour’s example gave up his life for the people of Uganda. Grant us to be so inspired by his witness that we make no peace with oppression, but live as those who are sealed with the cross of Christ, who died and rose again, and now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.
NOW LIGHT A CANDLE
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