Ukraine/Russia: Towards a Christ Centred Resolution
“Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord Almighty.”
War crimes are an anathema to our Creator God in Christ Jesus.
One could well ask, what sensibility is there in Christ-centred minds, even deliberating over the concept of a ‘just war’? Isn’t Christ’s broken Body on the cross of Calvary, validation of passivism?
What is our personal – and corporate – response to the current gross distortion of our God’s purpose and plan for Ukrainians, Russians and all humanity? Almost universally there is acknowledgement that if Putin prevails, a new era of un-Godly despotic license, gets a green light.
It is also true, in 2023 Australia, positive media voice and public square witness of Jesus Christ, has largely been silenced – if not invalidated. Yet the UCA in Australia – and the body of Christ globally – is better equipped than other organisms (or organisations) in profoundly contributing towards world peace.
The Ukraine-Russian conflict could become a central focus in the Church’s renaissance. Can the church arise to be known as a living, active organism – praying, sacrificing and proclaiming for a free Ukrainian nation?
Prayer, unity and sacrifice are but a few of the key Good News concepts available to open the door to the new beginnings in Eastern Europe – and peace in the wider world.
Praise God for intercessors already praying for peace and reconciliation through Christ Jesus – healing and transforming nations.
Not least the prayer; ‘Your Kingdom come. Your will be done in Ukraine, as it is in heaven.’
Are we of the UCA prepared to personally sacrifice in a manner adequately reflecting the wondrous, cross founded sacrificial love we know in Christ Jesus?
That is, not just risk, but intentionally sacrifice our personal wealth in sharing Christ-like support and inspiration to the battered people of Ukraine.
Like many UCA folk, I am a ‘baby boomer’. We often have the collateral – both spiritually and financially – to provide brave Ukrainians with hope and sustenance.
With the Apostle Paul we are free in Christ to both know and proclaim;
‘For Christ’s love compels us… that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who dies for them.’
Living with the fervent love of Jesus compelling us is a beautiful place to be.
Ever tried living with a constant open hand – palm up! A wonderful posture to discover. Yes, our Almighty God may take a significant portion of your stashed wealth – He certainly has from my open hand! Praise God.
But what a wonderful dimension of spiritual bounty is returned to our rejoicing heart. Thank you Lord.
What of lobbying for more serious sanctions against the aggressor nation? Again it may cost us personally, corporately or communally. With real sacrifice, there will be healthy return on investment. Not necessarily a financial blessing, but a manifest boost to spiritual wealth and health.
Were you peaceful witnessing Russian tennis stars playing in the Australian Open championship? Undoubtedly lovely people – but their nation is perpetrating obnoxious evil on their neighbour. Literally tonnes of explosives destroying beautiful lives!
Remember also, the statement of sport being ‘non-political’, is a fallacy. To say or do nothing, is equally political. In this instance, legitimising the current destructive evil – while we slumber!
Now is the time to become a relevant voice, agents of action, supporting one another in being and doing as ambassadors for Christ-like peace.
May we of the UCA provide leadership in a nation that largely dismisses the church. Will the wider community – including the secular press – discover a church super-charged with sacrifice and passion for peace?
Join your local or Synod social justice group. Start such a neighbourhood, workplace or friendship group.
And may we come to see and cherish the power and purposes of our crucified God, our risen Lord, as indeed light to the world.
Rev. Dennis Doust