Remembering :  
 We gathered at Garissa AIC church  a week after the most horrendous attack on Christian   by the alshaabab.  
We were remembering the 16 people wantonly killed the over 65 injured in a chaotic scene never witnessed  in this country and comfort the traumatised survivors. Amazingly Christians gathered in great numbers. Though there was still smell of blood, vivid memory of the attack, one survivor testified pointing out his resolved to stay in Garissa. “this was intended to scare us away… we have just had the mandate to be here! ”  Very honourably Rev. Hon Mutava Musyimi, came all the way to support and pray with us. In his address he referred to  the words of The 2nd-century Church Father Tertullian  who wrote that “the blood of martyrs is the seed of the Church,” implying that the martyrs’ willing sacrifice of their lives leads to the conversion of others.  will this attack  dim the light of the gospel or advance it was the question that lingered.  Our prayer was that, the death  every one of the slain believers would result in conversion  of many. We remembered them. 
 One  of the profoundest features of the Christian  and Jewish way of being in the world  and being in history is remembering . The month of November has been one of this. Most importantly it begins with  All Saints’ Day (also known as All Hallows’ Day or Hallowmas) is the day after All Hallows’ Eve (Hallowe’en). It is a feast day celebrated on 1st November by Anglicans and Roman Catholics.  It is an opportunity for believers to remember all saints and martyrs, known and unknown, throughout Christian history. This years all saints day was meaningful. We had our own martyrs  to remember and are still counting those falling to terror attacks.
Remembering saints and martyrs and dedicating a specific day to them each year has been a Christian tradition since the 4th century AD, but it wasn’t until 609AD that Pope Boniface IV decided to remember all martyrs. Originally 13th May was designated as the Feast of All Holy Martyrs. Later, in 837AD, Pope Gregory IV extended the festival to remember all the saints, changed its name to Feast of All Saints and changed the date to 1st November. All Souls’ Day is marked on 2nd November (or the 3rd if the 2nd is a Sunday), directly following All Saints’ Day, and is an opportunity for Roman Catholics and Anglo-Catholic churches to commemorate the faithful departed. 
The lives of the martyrs became a source of inspiration for some Christians, and their lives and relics were revered. Relics of the saints are still revered in the Catholic and Orthodox Churches. The age of martyrdom led to the presence of relics in altars, and in the foundation stones of the buildings built for worship.
The age of martyrs also forced the church to confront theological issues such as the proper response to those Christians who “lapsed” and renounced the Christian faith to save their lives: were they to be allowed back into the Church? Some felt they should not, while others said they could. In the end, it was agreed to allow them in after a period of penance. The re-admittance of the “lapsed” became a defining moment in the Church because it allowed the sacrament of repentance and readmission to the Church despite issues of sin. This issue caused the Donatist and Novatianist schisms.
The  attacks on Christians in this country has  pushed us to brink. We must find appropriate reactions . Should  the  Church demanded compensation for 11 of its institutions, which have been burnt down in the past five months?
the Rev.  Peter Karanja addressing the NCCK leaders in  Limuru said , the attacks on its churches by Al-Shabaab and other groupings appear to be well-planned and the government should bear the responsibility.
the Rev Karanja said the government has a duty to protect life and property, which it had failed to do.
“What is clear is that peace in the country is about appeasing the angry rather than protecting the innocent,” he said.
Or should the church retaliate ? A section of church leaders have advocated that from now on when a church is attacked Christian youths should also attack a mosque. This they said was already in place in northern Nigeria. If we should hear from Nigeria then we should consider The Anglican Archbishop of Jos, Ben Kwashi’s thought.  He told the BBC that he condemned the church attacks and the acts of revenge. He said such “terrorism” was ruining relations between the two largest religious groups in Africa’s most populous nation. 
The attacks present us with unique opportunity to refine our faith. In recent years several notable studies—including those by Judith Perkins, Daniel Boyarin, and Elizabeth Castelli—have assessed the importance of martyrdom and suffering in constructions of ancient Christian identity. In Perkins’s view, many ancient Christians came to believe that “to be a Christian was to suffer.” Christian martyr acts, when understood as textual vehicles for the construction of culture and the articulation of Christian identities, emerge as one mechanism by which such selves were constructed.
Boyarin thought that, the memory work done by early Christians on the historical experience of persecution and martyrdom was a form of culture making, whereby Christian identity was indelibly marked by the collective memory of the religious suffering of others.
The Christian experience of violence during the pagan persecutions shaped the ideologies and practices that drove further religious conflicts over the course of the fourth and fifth centuries.  For Castelli,  The formative experience of martyrdom and persecution determined the ways in which later Christians would both use and experience violence under the Christian empire. Discourses of martyrdom and persecution formed the symbolic language through which Christians represented, justified, or denounced the use of violence.
The remembrance of our martyrs today should shape our theology, define how we relate outside faith and excite our desire to share the good news 
Rev. Canon Francis Omondi 
All saints cathedral diocese.