Thursday, March 6, 2014

Day Two of Lent, Thursday, March 6, 2014

As a child, I grew up with the USA's cold war with the Soviet Union in full swing.  We were in an arms race but the weapons of choice were nuclear.

Movies such as WarGames were popular when I was a teen and Generation X gave up the Baby Boomer practice of having duck and cover drills as we watched The Day After on ABC.

On December 26, 1991, we saw the dissolution of the Soviet Union.  We've lived since that time with more threat from terrorism than from "global thermonuclear war".  Movies changed from threats of long range missiles to suit-case nukes.

Now the latest headlines are getting scary with Russia's military intervention in the Ukraine.  Leading up to this in February, 88 people were killed as protests were violently suppressed.  President Yanukovych of the Ukraine fled the country and an interim Prime Minister was appointed until elections can be held in May.  Russian military forces have taken control of Crimea in the Ukraine claiming that deposed President Yanukovych invited them to come to their aid.

How far will Russia go?  What will be the response of the world?

Barack Obama and Vladmir Putin shake hands
at the G8 Summit in Ireland, June 17, 2013.
Photo by Pete Souza, Creative commons
The whole thing seems beyond my control which is very similar to how I felt as a teenager in the 1980's.  However, as Christians, we believe that prayer makes a difference.  It allows me to pray for a spirit of peace to come over all the leaders involved so that they may come to a just and peaceful resolution.

To some this sounds naive or maybe like a cop-out.

But I believe that as we set our minds on God, we move toward the good.

As Paul reminds us in Philippians 4:6-7: "Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (NRSV)

And so let us pray for the people of Ukraine and especially those who lost loved ones in the protests.

Let us pray for their government as they make crucial decisions.

Let us pray for President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry.

Let us pray for President Putin of Russia.

Let us pray for all of the soldiers involved in this region as nerves will be on edge.

I remember this song coming out when I was in high school almost thirty years ago (I have the album on vinyl in a closet).  It's lately had an antiquated feel to it and I hope that we return to that feeling soon.

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