Russia has invaded Ukraine. And we thought we lived in a world where blitzkrieg would never again change European boundaries.
Russian leaders ignore the message of a classic piece of their own literature. In War and Peace, Tolstoy weaves a tale of politics, patriotism, family, and the struggle of the human condition. In the end, the love and marriage of two young couples signal the hope of peace.
The nations try but fail to achieve peace. After WWI, the feckless League of Nations watched WWII happen. In 1945 after WWII, the UN began. Think of all the world peace since then! The permanent members of the Security Council cannot even bring themselves to be peaceful. Russia and Ukraine currently serve together on the UN Human Rights Council, but did that stop the clanking war machines?
So how shall we think about these things? Here is a framework for thinking from a particular worldview.
(1) We will always have wars and rumors of wars until the day Jesus returns. Wars are a reminder that this is a fallen, temporary world. “See that you are not frightened,” He said, “for those things must take place” (Matt. 24:6).
(2) That day may be immanent. Or not. If the Lord tarries, it’s for the purposes of grace and salvation for those who believe. “The Lord is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9).
(3) We can work for peace on earth, but making a warless world is not the Christian’s ultimate objective. We have a higher commission, to rescue victims from the chaos of separation from God. To be reconciled to God is to be a follower of Jesus. He said, “Make disciples of all the nations…teaching them to observe all that I commanded you” (Matt. 28:19-20).
Join me in praying for the Ukrainian people bloodied by the claw of the Russian bear, and for those hapless Russian conscripts taken from their mothers. Pray “deliver us from evil,” that people and nations would know the peace of Christ.