February 26, 2022
Russia invaded Ukraine three days ago. I think that is a truthful statement. I cannot trust death statistics on either side. I cannot trust refugee numbers, although I believe that there are thousands fleeing the country. CNN, BBC, CBC, Ukraine news service and Russian government official news bulletins all put out their views. All of us have our biases. We see the world from our point of view.
The same issues were in Ottawa recently. Do we call it a protest, an occupation, a Freedom Convoy or criminal activity ? It is hard to change our minds or perspective on any issue. I have trusted the public health officials, and I believe that vaccines have been instrumental in bringing down the numbers of people dying. This is my perspective on COVID.
Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.”
“You are a king, then!” said Pilate.
Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of the truth listens to me.”
“What is the truth ?” retorted Pilate. With this he went out again to the Jews gathered there and said, “I find no basis for a charge against him. But it is your custom for me to release to you one prisoner at the time of the Passover. Do you want me to release ‘the king of the Jews’?” John 18:36-39
For Pilate, he acted on what he thought was the right thing to do, from the Empire perspective. The church must be on the side of love, compassion and justice. We must support those who are suffering. We should help the people who are not being helped by others. We cannot be the Empire.
PRAYER FOR UKRAINE
|God of hope,|
we pray to you when hope is scarce
as our world convulses with the horror of war.
You alone know the extent of the crimes committed in Ukraine:
the people murdered, the homes and infrastructure destroyed,
the way violence comes as a calamity,
cutting a swath through the world.
Why is power concentrated in the hands of so few?
How can we make this war stop?
You alone know a way out of this quagmire of evil.
Help us find it.
Awaken those who dismiss this as someone else’s problem.
Give world leaders wisdom as they impose sanctions,
looking for diplomatic and economic ways to end this aggression.
Raise up resistance to war in Russia itself.
Protect the people of Ukraine,
who are reeling from the trauma of invasion.
Open the arms of neighbouring countries
to take in refugees.
In times like these,
fill us with resolve rather than hatred.
Help us believe that justice will prevail,
that crimes will be prosecuted,
that peace can be found
even in the roar and rubble of war. Amen
© Carol Penner