Today's Lectionary Text
Joel 2:1-2Blow the trumpet in Zion;
sound the alarm on my holy mountain!
Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble,
for the day of the Lord is coming, it is near—
a day of darkness and gloom,
a day of clouds and thick darkness!
Like blackness spread upon the mountains
a great and powerful army comes;
their like has never been from of old,
nor will be again after them
in ages to come.
Over the last few weeks, I have had my share of sleepless nights. Events in the world, personal stuff, and God tugging on my heartstrings to continue dedicated prayer.
I am sure we are all thinking and writing and posting about our concern for the people in the Ukraine and the people in Russia who oppose this senseless escalation.
As I was thinking about my devotional for this week and realizing my turn came the day after Ash Wednesday so the second day of Lent, I went to the lectionary text and these first verses in Joel popped out. One of those God moment things.
The image that came to mind were aircraft entering foreign airspace, tanks rolling over international boundaries, and civilians, many, many, civilians hurt and in pain. I have a sister-in-law whose stepson is married to a Ukrainian woman, and he currently resides in the Ukraine. I believe he is trained as an army medic.
Jo, my sister-in-law, said they saw a picture of her stepson last week on Facebook holding a shovel in one hand and a rifle in the other. The thought of that image has been haunting me this week. An image of one who provides help to heal holding a rifle and a shovel. Talk about pulling at the heartstrings. As we journey through Lent let us continue to pray for our brothers and sisters in the Ukraine and to pray for our brothers and sisters in Russia, and for all those in the countries surrounding this conflict.
-Rev. Jeff Goetzinger
Little River First and Mitchell Chapel UMC's
Prayer for Reflection
Loving God, may your peace come down, may we continue to pray for the day when weapons will be beaten into plows, where your love will prevail. May your divine healing come into this situation and all the other conflicts in the world. In Jesus’ holy name we pray, Amen.
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