Light shines in the darkness

The war on the people of Ukraine is appalling. The relentless bombing of cities and smaller communities wreaks mindless destruction of property and kills men, women and children. It is heart-breaking to see people leaving their homes carrying a few precious possessions with them. Little children carrying only a favourite toy. Thousands of people sheltering in basements, underground car parks and metro stations. People waiting at border checkpoints to enter a safe country including very sick children with cancer. This war reveals the depth of wickedness of which human beings are capable.

The war has also revealed the beautiful things of which human beings, created in God’s image, are capable. The courage of Ukrainian men and women who are fighting, against overwhelming force, to defend their homeland. They have made a conscious decision to fight against the Russian army even if they die. Their President is inspiring his people by his personal courage. Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

The people of Poland, and other countries receiving refugee women and children from Ukraine, are showing great love and kindness. Volunteers are meeting them at the border with food, warm drinks, clothes, and a place to rest. Some are opening their homes as well as their hearts to strangers in great need. Jesus said that at the Last Judgement the King will say to those he receives, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me.”

The people of Ukraine are showing great faith in God. Many Ukrainians are practising Christians who pray to God and believe God’s Word in the Bible. In a world of many lies they know that God’s Word is true and they can trust in his promises. In his letter to the Romans the Apostle Paul wrote, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: ‘For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”