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The Body of Christ

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“If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honoured, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.”

Each day brings dreadful news from the war in Ukraine. I can’t help but wonder what the situation will be at the time that you are reading this piece. Clive Myrie, a BBC newsreader and previous war journalist and reporter for many years has recently returned from the war zone. His professional background together with his very recent first-hand experience there puts Clive in a good position to assess the morale and mindset of the people of Ukraine.

I heard him recently discussing exactly this. He believes that firstly Vladimir Putin misjudged the passion of the Ukrainian people for their own country. But also, and very significantly, that some 80-90% of the population of Ukraine have a strong religious conviction. They believe in God, and they believe that God and right are both on their side. They see the war as a battle between good and evil. Against this background, there is simply no choice for them but to resist and this is giving them strength and hope to dig in and fight a war that many thought would be over in a matter of days, given the ill-matched strength and resources of the two sides. A modern-day David and Goliath.

Clive Myrie witnessed the Ukrainian people leaning deep into their faith; prepared to sacrifice everything they have, their homes, their possessions and even their lives in order to stand up to aggression and suppression.

I am humbled as I read on the Christianity Today website, the wartime experience of Ukraine’s Evangelicals. Oleksandr Geychenko, president of the Odessa Theological Seminary says that the verse that is helping him persevere is 1 Corinthians12:26-27. He said, “Last Sunday we celebrated our monthly Lord’s Supper for the first time since the war began. The high point was an identification with the suffering of fellow believers who have loved ones in neighbouring nations, still on the road searching for accommodation, or who have perished in the attacks on our many cities. But as I took the bread, I knew I was part of the body of Christ.”

So, let’s keep praying for God’s will for the people and country of Ukraine and stand united with them as the body of Christ.

Dear Heavenly Father, you created us to be a family; to be a unified body to praise and worship you. We lift our brothers and sisters in Ukraine to you and ask for your mercy on them. Show us how we can help in this situation and work together to honour you. In Jesus’ name. Amen

Penny Cox, 16/03/2022