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As I write this, the invasion of Ukraine by Russia is just about 11 days old.
We are a few days into our Lenten journey and while some folks wait impatiently for what they hope will be further relaxation of the Covid rules on March 21, there are many others who are fearful.
They are fearful of Covid, which seems to be running through communities and families again; they are fearful of taking off their masks, and indeed many may not – not yet anyway; they are fearful of what is happening in the world; not only fearful of an escalation of hostilities in eastern Europe, but also of the anti-social behaviour which seems to be increasing in our own communities. And yet, do we not all need to remember that we are told, approximately 365 times in Scripture, ‘Do not be afraid’. Or words to that effect.
I have listened to many Ukrainians speaking on television and have been humbled by their sure and steadfast faith in God.
One man said that they needn’t be afraid, because with God, they know that although Evil may win many battles, Good will win the war.’
As we go through our Lenten journey towards Easter, instead of giving up chocolate or such like, let’s give up being afraid – at least of the things that are in God’s control. Let us add positivity to our outlook on our lives. God gave this same four-word message of encouragement to many throughout the bible: Abraham, Moses, Elijah, Mary and Joseph, and he still gives this same message to us today, to everyone who has faith and believes in Him, whether we are in Scotland or Ukraine, Poland or Antarctica, and yes, even in Russia – ‘Do not be afraid’.