By Haddon Willmer
Today, 28 February, sees a welcome but risky scaling down of Covid restrictions, while the shame of vaccine inequity remains. A high-income country vaccinates 70% of its people by increasing health care spending by 0.8%, while a low-income country faces a 56.6% raise – and still we put arms of self-pity around ourselves. (Global Dashboard for vaccine equity.)
Just about now, emails arrive telling us domestic fuel will be more expensive from 4 April – 50% will be manageable for some, devastating for many.
Tomorrow, the latest climate report (Climate crisis | The Guardian) will appear, more urgent than ever. But it is likely to be hidden from view by murderous carbonizing war.
By the time you read this, things may be far worse for Ukraine, for its people, and for all of us, including the Russian people. Putin blows a nuclear cloud over the earth. May I talk about anything else in a situation which has turned a comedian into an inspiring fighting president?
Let me borrow from Josep Borrell in the Guardian:
With this war on Ukraine, the world will never be the same again. It is now, more than ever, the time for societies and alliances to come together to build our future on trust, justice and freedom. It is the moment to stand up and to speak out. Might does not make right. Never did. Never will.
Let me listen again to Sunday worship from St Martin in the Fields (Sunday Worship – A prayer for Ukraine – BBC Sounds).
Orthodox Biship Ihor of Kharkiv was quoted:
“We must always remain Christians—calm, thoughtful, responsible, sensitive to the needs of others, capable of analyzing information and of clearly discerning one’s place and one’s calling in the endless struggle between good and evil.”
Bishop Kenneth Nowakowski said,
‘We do not understand the way of the Lord, but we trust in the promise that Jesus has left us, a road that is not paved with roses, but involves hardship and challenges. He told us that “Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also.” (John 12:26)
Our Lord did not run from His Calvary….. We continue to pray for peace, but we must also pray for victory–not only a military victory, but especially a spiritual victory. Ironically, Russia will only be saved if President Putin is defeated. We pray for our enemies, that they be enlightened by the truth of the Gospel, that their eyes are opened to the horror they have inflicted and continue to inflict.’
And with our enemies, we pray for ourselves, for we all, in some way and another fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3.23). And in quavering faith, we act with hope against hope.