Message from LCA Bishop Paul Smith
Witnessing to the gospel:
responding to the situation in Ukraine
Friends in Christ,
What do we do when we are confronted with the news of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine?
Our primary calling is to join in prayer to commend to our Lord this situation of conflict in Ukraine. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is of special concern because of its potential to draw in global powers and cause harm on an extraordinarily wide scale.
Whatever situation you may be in, please join with your sisters and brothers in Christ, to bring your concerns and fears about this situation to our gracious God. The following are some prayer pointers.
God of love, justice and peace, we pray:
- for political and military leaders, upon whose word lives are saved or taken; we pray that they will truly understand and appreciate the weight of moral responsibility they bear
- for a swift end to military action and a renewed effort from all parties with a stake in this conflict to address the tensions between them through good-faith dialogue, genuine attempts to understand each other’s concerns, and flexibility in negotiations
- for Ukrainian people and foreigners still in Ukraine who are most at risk while hostilities continue
- for soldiers involved in this conflict and their families at home
- for humanitarian organisations as they mobilise to meet people’s essential needs, and
- for people displaced by conflict and for people of goodwill offering them shelter.
READING: Psalm 46 (NRSV)
1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,
though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
3 though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult. Selah
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High.
5 God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved; God will help it when the morning dawns.
6 The nations are in an uproar, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts.
7 The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah
8 Come, behold the works of the Lord; see what desolations he has brought on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear;
he burns the shields with fire.
10 ‘Be still, and know that I am God! I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth.’
11 The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah