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The Miracle of Forgiveness

Sunday 5th April 2015

The Archbishop's Easter Day Reflection for BBC Radio 2: Good Morning Sunday follows in full....

 

Thirty-eight years ago in Uganda, a large crowd gathered outside St Paul’s Cathedral, Namirembe, to bury Archbishop Janani Luwum. They waited for hours, singing hymns of trust, love and hope in Christ’s Resurrection.

President Idi Amin didn’t release the body as he had promised. His soldiers had secretly buried Janani’s desecrated body in his birthplace in order to cover up Amin's lie that the Archbishop had died in a motor accident.

His predecessor, Archbishop Sabiti, looking into the empty grave said, “Don’t look for the living among the dead. The soul of Janani is alive with Christ. Don’t be alarmed or afraid. By his death and Resurrection, Jesus did turn death into a family servant who opens the door to let the children come home.”

The crowd replied, “Alleluiah, Christ is Risen.”

Well! Last month I was at Janani’s resting place, for a Memorial Service – 38 years since his martyrdom.

A survivor, who was with Janani on the night he was brutally tortured and then shot dead by Idi Amin, gave a bloodcurdling account.

Janani’s widow, Mama Mary, spoke. No bitterness, self-pity or wrecking over the awful past. With great humour she talked of their marriage, friendship and Jesus. So did the seven children when they spoke.

Before my very eyes I saw the miracle of forgiveness.

You know what? Christ’s Resurrection is God’s forgiving love writ large. His constant forgiveness is his greatest miracle in us.

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