Original Published April 12, 2022

By François Prévost
Slave Lake

Over the past month or so, we have witnessed the systematic destruction of the sovereign nation of Ukraine with the brutalization and death of thousands of its citizen.

Thanks to advancement in social media, the whole world has been exposed to the horrors of war. Wars have a ripple effect on everybody. It is not about who is right or wrong, neither is it about patriotism, bravery, or heroism. It is about life and lives of people. In the past, except for those who lived in its path, war was something that happened elsewhere, it did not concern us. When we heard of it, we could just shrug it off and go on with our lives.

War, however, is much more than bravery and heroics, it involves death and destruction and now, no matter where we live, we see it happen in our living rooms, where we must come to grips with it.

How should we respond? Do we close our eyes and convince ourselves that it’s not happening? Do we conclude that it is beyond our ability to do something and thus do nothing?

Christianity teaches us to seek peace, to pray for the victims, to pray for their enemies and to be in solidarity with those who mourn. Sermon on the Mount. If we are people of faith, we will be motivated to do what we can for the sake of the war victims. We will not accept the conclusion of some that there is no hope so why bother. We know that whereever God is there is always hope, and God is everywhere.

God is with everyone, the aggressor as well as the victim. God is with the aggressor to change the aggressor’s heart. God is with the victim to give them the courage and the resilience to avoid or if necessary to face their assailant. God is love. God created everything in love, and everything God does is in love.

In love, God gave creation various degrees of freedom of choice and to humanity gave the total freedom to choose. What God has given, God will not take back. God has chosen to lead creation through love and encouragement.

With humans, God mostly uses other humans, to accomplish God’s intention. As it has been said, “God has no voice except (y)our voice, no hands except (y)our hands, no feet except (y)our feet.” In the depths of the human heart, God whispers, “Say this, go there, do that.”

If everyone hears and chooses to do as God has spoken, God’s desires will most surely be accomplished.

Easter is coming soon. Easter is the celebration of the resurrection, both that of Jesus Christ the son of God and of our own, and if not this Easter perhaps next Easter, it will surely come, the resurrection of the Ukrainian people and nation from their valley of suffering and death.

This item reprinted with permission from Lakeside Leader, Slave Lake, Alberta