Janani Luwum, Archbishop of Uganda, Martyr, 1977
We have heard with our ears, O God, our forebears have told us, all that you did in their days, in time of old; How with your hand you drove out nations and planted us in, and broke the power of peoples and set us free. For not by their own sword did our ancestors take the land nor did their own arm save them, But your right hand, your arm, and the light of your countenance, because you were gracious to them.
You are my King and my God, who commanded salvation for Jacob.Through you we drove back our adversaries; through your name we trod down our foes. For I did not trust in my bow; it was not my own sword that saved me; It was you that saved us from our enemies and put our adversaries to shame.
We gloried in God all the day long, and were ever praising your name. But now you have rejected us and brought us to shame and go not out with our armies. You have made us turn our backs on our enemies, and our enemies have despoiled us.
You have made us like sheep to be slaughtered, and have scattered us among the nations.
You have sold your people for a pittance and made no profit on their sale.
You have made us the taunt of our neighbours, the scorn and derision of those that are round about us.
You have made us a byword among the nations; among the peoples they wag their heads.
My confusion is daily before me, and shame has covered my face, At the taunts of the slanderer and reviler, at the sight of the enemy and avenger. All this has come upon us,
though we have not forgotten you and have not played false to your covenant.
Our hearts have not turned back, nor our steps gone out of your way, Yet you have crushed us in the haunt of jackals, and covered us with the shadow of death. If we have forgotten the name of our God, or stretched out our hands to any strange god, Will not God search it out For he knows the secrets of the heart.
But for your sake are we killed all the day long, and are counted as sheep for the slaughter. Rise up! Why sleep, O Lord? Awake, and do not reject us for ever. Why do you hide your face and forget our grief and oppression? Our soul is bowed down to the dust; our belly cleaves to the earth.
Rise up, O Lord, to help us and redeem us for the sake of your steadfast love.
Now Abraham was old, well advanced in years; and the Lord had blessed Abraham in all things. Abraham said to his servant, the oldest of his house, who had charge of all that he had, ‘Put your hand under my thigh and I will make you swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and earth, that you will not get a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I live, but will go to my country and to my kindred and get a wife for my son Isaac.’ The servant said to him, ‘Perhaps the woman may not be willing to follow me to this land; must I then take your son back to the land from which you came?’ Abraham said to him, ‘See to it that you do not take my son back there. The Lord, the God of heaven, who took me from my father’s house and from the land of my birth, and who spoke to me and swore to me, “To your offspring I will give this land”, he will send his angel before you; you shall take a wife for my son from there. But if the woman is not willing to follow you, then you will be free from this oath of mine; only you must not take my son back there.’ So the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master and swore to him concerning this matter.
Then the servant took ten of his master’s camels and departed, taking all kinds of choice gifts from his master; and he set out and went to Aram-naharaim, to the city of Nahor. He made the camels kneel down outside the city by the well of water; it was towards evening, the time when women go out to draw water. And he said, ‘O Lord, God of my master Abraham, please grant me success today and show steadfast love to my master Abraham. I am standing here by the spring of water, and the daughters of the townspeople are coming out to draw water. Let the girl to whom I shall say, “Please offer your jar that I may drink”, and who shall say, “Drink, and I will water your camels”—let her be the one whom you have appointed for your servant Isaac. By this I shall know that you have shown steadfast love to my master.’
Before he had finished speaking, there was Rebekah, who was born to Bethuel son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham’s brother, coming out with her water-jar on her shoulder. The girl was very fair to look upon, a virgin whom no man had known. She went down to the spring, filled her jar, and came up. Then the servant ran to meet her and said, ‘Please let me sip a little water from your jar.’ ‘Drink, my lord,’ she said, and quickly lowered her jar upon her hand and gave him a drink. When she had finished giving him a drink, she said, ‘I will draw for your camels also, until they have finished drinking.’ So she quickly emptied her jar into the trough and ran again to the well to draw, and she drew for all his camels. The man gazed at her in silence to learn whether or not the Lord had made his journey successful.
When the camels had finished drinking, the man took a gold nose-ring weighing a half-shekel, and two bracelets for her arms weighing ten gold shekels, and said, ‘Tell me whose daughter you are. Is there room in your father’s house for us to spend the night?’ She said to him, ‘I am the daughter of Bethuel son of Milcah, whom she bore to Nahor.’ She added, ‘We have plenty of straw and fodder and a place to spend the night.’ The man bowed his head and worshipped the Lord and said, ‘Blessed be the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who has not forsaken his steadfast love and his faithfulness towards my master. As for me, the Lord has led me on the way to the house of my master’s kin.’
Then the girl ran and told her mother’s household about these things.
1 Timothy 6.1-10
Let all who are under the yoke of slavery regard their masters as worthy of all honour, so that the name of God and the teaching may not be blasphemed. Those who have believing masters must not be disrespectful to them on the ground that they are members of the church; rather they must serve them all the more, since those who benefit by their service are believers and beloved.
Teach and urge these duties. Whoever teaches otherwise and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that is in accordance with godliness, is conceited, understanding nothing, and has a morbid craving for controversy and for disputes about words. From these come envy, dissension, slander, base suspicions, and wrangling among those who are depraved in mind and bereft of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain. Of course, there is great gain in godliness combined with contentment; for we brought nothing into the world, so that we can take nothing out of it; but if we have food and clothing, we will be content with these. But those who want to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and in their eagerness to be rich some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains.
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