Today’s Author: Steve Sveom

Several of you have kindly asked about our daughter and her family living in Slovakia.  They have seen refugees from Ukraine, but they feel quite safe.  The war in Ukraine stirs up many feelings and I am challenged to consider what it means to be a disciple of Jesus at a time like this.

Photo by Karollyne Hubert on Unsplash

I‘m angry at Putin and his closest supporters; sad for the misled; compassionate for the attacked and displaced; bitter over injustice; admiring of resisters; grateful for cooperation among countries; amazed at the generosity shown by Poland and other countries welcoming refugees; uncertain about what God can accomplish; and helpless over the whole situation.  

We have heard about Peter this week and see in him a man who followed Jesus, confessed Jesus as God’s presence among us and then denied that he was even a disciple.  The range of emotions and confusion about what God would accomplish in the death of Jesus were certainly part of Peter’s experience including his own failure.  Yet, the grace of Jesus came in self-giving love.  The grace of Jesus became a resurrection and a new call to Peter to feed God’s sheep and tend Jesus’ lambs.  The call of Jesus brought new strength to Peter to move past his defeat to live in faith.  Jesus continues to call us to recognize the presence of God in Jesus and to work for justice, hope and love in the midst of deep challenges.  How we do that, requires open hearts, thoughtful minds, and willing hands.  It is a great adventure.

Prayer:  This is my prayer, O God of all earth’s nations; a prayer for peace and hope for all oppressed by war.  Give comfort to combatants; grace for Ukraine and wisdom for the world; steadfastness for Russian protestors; and softened hearts for Russian aggressors.  Provide safety for frightened refugees, and compassionate hearts for all places of refuge.  For the healing of the nations, we pray to you O God. Amen.

Mid-week devotions are authored by members of our community.  If you are interested in creating a trio of reflections to be shared on an upcoming Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, contact Pastor Peter.