I’ve been listening to Timothy Snyder’s book Bloodland-Europe Between Hitler and Stalin. I’m well into it and I’m struggling. I can only listen for short periods at a time. Because it’s overwhelmingly difficult for me to listen. Prevalent within this historical account is the premise of provocation, in my rather simplistic brain that means making a lie – true. Hitler regularly used this strategy as justification for Germany’s hideous and evil actions against the Jews.  The same goes for Stalin and the massive suffering he inflicted against the Ukrainians. Today, we hear the same demented evil as the reason for the Russian invasion into Ukraine. (They started it. So says the Russians – a lie which we are supposed to accept as true.) But a lie is not true no matter how many times you say it is.  Listen to the Russian ambassador to the United Nations, Vasily Nebenzya, press conference, he speaks the language of provocation.  I’m not politically savvy and I’m sure someone on the Hillsdale College faculty or someone in a privately funded “think tank” will concur. (I accept my intellectual ability.) But I don’t accept war.  The purpose of war is to destroy, capture and control. War is deadly and no child, youth or adult, should live in war conditions.  War only has value for a few and those few only value what they want. They don’t care what it costs.  Its day 6, since Russia invaded Ukraine and we cannot become callous or insouciant. This should weigh heavily on our hearts and in our minds. We need to help our elected officials do more to help make for peace, and also we need to keep praying for the miracle of peace.

Scripture Reading: Hebrews 12:14
“Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.”

Reflection Questions:
What one thing can you do to help the people of Ukraine?
How do others see the Lord’s holiness in you?
What should your elected officials be doing to bring about peace in Ukraine?

Prayer: Holy God, I again ask you to uphold the people of Ukraine, turn the stone hearts and evil intentions of the invaders toward a less destructive war.  Let the miracle of peace happen.  Amen.