“Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of My pasture!” says the LORD" - Jeremiah 23:1 (NIV)
Saint Janan Luwum whose public holiday is celebrated today in Uganda speaks very much to present times. Born in a polygamous family Luwum initially trained as a teacher. After accepting Christ as a personal savior in 1949 he went to Buwalasi Theological College and was ordained as a priest in 1953. In 1969 he was consecrated Bishop of the Diocese of Northern Uganda at Gulu. In 1974 he was appointed Archbishop of the Metropolitan Province of Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and Boga (in Zaire), becoming the second African to hold this position
Luwum took on the leadership of the church at a time where extra judicial killings were at their peak. Abductions of those suspected of opposing the Idi Amin regime were every day and people lived much in fear. In 1973 there was a public execution of 15 Ugandans suspected of fighting the Amin regime.
Archbishop Luwum could have chosen to be silent and simply carry on his pastoral duties, perhaps with a certain detachment. Rather than take that more convenient approach, he decided to stand out and take up a prophetic role of warning the Amin regime that it would pay dearly for its abuse of power. For that he was arrested in 1977 and executed with three other ministers. Need I remind us here that two years later Amin was gone.
Power is given by God. So often we find those who abuse it for their selfish end.The church has not just a primary role to guide believers but also a prophetic duty to warn those that abuse power has consequences. For "Thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I will require My flock at their hand; I will cause them to cease feeding the sheep, and the shepherds shall feed themselves no more; for I will deliver My flock from their mouths, that they may no longer be food for them" (Ezekiel 34:10).
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today as as we celebrate the life of a servant of yours, Janan Luwum, who paid the ultimate price for standing up to evil, we pray that those with power may use it to honour you and not drive your people into desperateness!
Related upcoming events
02/03/2024 - 03/03/2024 All day
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God”- (Philippians 4:6).
Perhaps you have heard of a certain old magical trade known as mind reading. According to this trade which has been around for millenniums and has its share of tricksters, mind readers are able to discern thought patterns of individuals before they even utter a word. There are places in the world where this, as expected, is a lucrative occupation, with practitioners, often crafty magicians, demanding hefty fees, just to tell thoughts of others.
As Christians, of course, we have an all knowing God, who has said, “Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him” ( Mathew 6:8). Further, our Lord has pointed out, “And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words” ( Mathew 6:7). As Christians when we come to God, we do so with full confidence, that He already knows our needs and will meet them according to his glorious riches in heaven.
Of particular interest for us here is that while God perfectly knows our needs before we even dare utter a single word, still it is incumbent upon us to make our requests known to Him. A parent may have long noticed a child has a need for a new pair of shoes; but it is another dimension, when the child does come out and share aloud that his pair is worn out, hurting and is quite in need of a new one. The parent takes notice, especially when the matter is presented with such conviction and urgency. This is why Hannah cried out to God for a child ( 1 Samuel 1:9-18).
In our relationship with God, as the Apostle Paul advises us, it is not just enough to assume and let matters be, that after all God knows all our needs, but we too bear a responsibility to make our requests known to Him. Once we are done with that, we let God do His part, allowing “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding” ( Philippians 4:7) to flood us.
So, today, do not hold back your needs from the Almighty God. He has paved the way to walk to Him through His son Jesus Christ, to present your case, bear out your heart’s desire, and let Him do His part!
Prayer today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I rise to make my requests known to you, knowing you have heard me even before I utter a single word, assured that you will meet each and every one of my needs, according to your glorious riches in heaven!