A reflection and response to the invasion of Ukraine

by Dr. Tom Sine

“In a joint statement….the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Archbishop of York said: ‘the horrific and unprovoked attack on Ukraine is an act of great evil. Placing our trust in Jesus Christ, the author of peace, we pray for an urgent cease fire and a withdrawal of Russian forces.'” (Church Times)

Many of us in churches all over America share the sense of dismay at “this act of great evil” expressed by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York. I would urge us not to be unsettled by the rising gas prices and other consumer discomforts that we are likely to experience in coming months. Rather we need to focus on the ongoing costs of this “horrific and unprovoked attack”on thousands of our neighbors in the Ukraine.

Those of us over 80 may have some greater levels of concerns of the horrific unprovoked invasion because of our memories of another war we experienced in the 40s. It also was started by a European leader who was determined to expand his empire.

Join me for just a few moments as I invite you to travel back with me to the 1940s. Just before Christmas in 1941, I was 5 years old living in Twin Falls, Idaho with my parents. On a bright morning, December 7, my mother Katherine pulled me up on her bed. She asked me to listen to the small radio near her bed.

I listened to a very dramatic voice declaring “This day will live in infamy!” I was, of course, listening to President Franklin Roosevelt’s announcement. “This day of infamy!” that Roosevelt was announcing was the attack on the US Navy at Pearl Harbor. The reason I am sharing this personal narrative is to convey to younger readers the troubling possibility that we are on the threshold of a new global military crisis that is potentially a much bigger deal than our increasing gas prices.

As for people in Ukraine, they are losing loved ones every single day that Putin continues to seek to invade Ukraine and kill any who stand in his way. Huge numbers of citizens are also becoming refugees fleeing to other countries. Do remember Ukraine is only one of a number of countries in Europe that Putin has stated he intends to capture and dominate.

I encourage Episcopal readers to continue to support the increasingly stronger action that President Biden is now taking in collaboration with the European Union with the strong support of both Democrats and Republicans in the US. We all need to ensure that this aggression in Ukraine does not expand into another larger European war.

I also urge readers to not only pray for those that are suffering in Ukraine. I also urge you to contribute to Christian agencies, such as World Vision, that are reaching out to families and children in the Ukraine.

Dr. Tom Sine is the co-author with Dr. Dwight Friesen of 2020s Foresight: Three Vital Steps For Thriving In A Decade Of Accelerating Change

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