As I opened my iPad, there it was, shocking, a picture of senseless destruction and chaos, a family man, perhaps a husband/father/son, lying tossed like garbage along the side of the road, degrading him of human dignity. Yet, a (his) dog is keeping watch. Perhaps he was getting food for his family and hurrying back to the safety of his shelter. Gunned down without mercy. O Lord, why? But see, there were more pictures of sadness: More bodies in the streets and in the bombed out buildings. Blood on the sidewalk and blood on the doors and hallways.
They are the terrible scenes we are able to be part of, as we peek in on our iPhones and tablets every morning. Ukraine is on fire, this is war gone wild, insanity and total destruction of people, neighbourhoods and civilization. Explosions, fire and the burning of homes, buildings, cars and machinery. Battle weapons scarred and destroyed; rusting in the streets and roads. People coming out of their building/homes and finding hiding places in basements and shelters, while columns of smoke and explosions are seen on the horizons everywhere. Faces edged with fright and fear. Children crying and wives carrying small children, weeping as they say good-bye to their husbands. Seniors and grandmothers helped by soldiers across make shift bridges and cooking their meager meals outdoors. Make-shift graves along the side of the road or in the local park/playground. Mothers/wives weeping for their soldier husbands/sons as their caskets are carried out of the church through the streets. Bombed buildings and war junk lying everywhere. Flames and destructions in every direction. Imagine the noise as the missiles hit and explode! with shrapnel flying in all directions finding their targets in flesh and surrounding materials. It is a war of crime (criminal)!
The above photo is the telling summation of all the ‘what for!!’ insanity of this war.
See here is barbarity in full action and view. A citizen of Bucha * lying on the curb shot dead while gathering groceries for his family. For no reason. For ‘in spite of’ and because they can. A scene that grips me and will not let go. O God have mercy!
Soon it will be Easter (2022) again when we remember the blood on the doors posts to free a people locked down in slavery. When the avenging angel of God passed by those who had the sign of redemption on their doorposts. It is the time again to remember the blood on the tree of Golgotha. The blood of the LAMB (JESUS) slain for the salvation of many, proclaiming God’s peace to all peoples and nations. This is the blood that “was poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins”. Gospel of Matthew chapter 26 verse 8
May Easter – this 2022 Easter – speak to you and me more loudly and clearly with conviction as we contemplate the Lamb slain for all to give us peace with God. A peace that was given, and we must pass on and practice, among us and to others. As the angels sang on that new morning in Bethlehem: “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests.” Gospel of Luke, chapter 2
JS APRIL 11, 2022
(Book of Common Prayer) A PRAYER FOR OUR UKRAINIAN BROTHERS AND SISTERS ON THE BATTLE FIELD: O God, who seest that in this warfare we are seeking to serve thee, and yet in the waging of it must needs do many things that are an offence against thy love; Accept we pray thee, our imperfect offering. Arm us with thy Spirit that our warfare may further the victory of thy justice and truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Psalm 3 (all verses); a psalm asking God for deliverance:
verse 1: O Lord, how swiftly grows, the number of my foes, who wantonly oppress me!
Yea, multiplied are they that rise to my dismay, and day by day distress me.
Though heavy my despair, they scornfully declare, to my humiliation,
That Thou, O God, no more, canst help me as before or come to my salvation.
verse 3: I laid me down and slept; I waked, for I was kept, in His divine protection;
The Lord was at my side, my succor He supplied, whatever my affliction.
Defended by His hand, I shall undaunted stand, While thousands surge about me;
Though furious foemen wage their war with mighty rage, I know they shall not rout me.
Note: * A dog sits next to the body of a civilian, who according to residents was killed by Russian soldiers, in Bucha, in Kyiv region, Ukraine, April 3, 2022. Photo REUTERS/Stringer