The endless dismal grey days we’ve had matched the sombre tone of a CBC radio news cast Tuesday evening. The announcement of Canada’s commitment to purchase a missile defense system for Ukraine, was coupled with an interview of a woman from Bakhmut. Our city was so beautiful, she said, now, there is no life left. How can they do this? During her interview she describes tireless efforts to aid the women and men who defend the front line. We will never give in; we will continue to do everything we can, she explains.
Listeners of the broadcast are left with her profound final statement, that responds to the persistent astonishment of Western democracies regarding Ukrainian resilience: “Our main strength is unity and looking out for each other like never before”.
In this fact we see the truth of the Incarnation: God is with us. Jesus was not the expected mighty King come to vanquish Rome and liberate Israel. Christ demonstrated the power and strength of love: interconnection, caring, kindness, selflessness. Patriarch Sviatoslav spoke of Christ’s nativity at this moment in Ukraine: not a sharpshooter or General, but a buttress of hope—light in the darkness. Now, as we progress into the Christmas cycle, we approach Theophany, the recognition of God in Jesus, revealed in the Jordan river.
As we drink the blessed Jordan water, let’s remember our own baptismal commitment to clothe ourselves in Christ, to BE light in darkness.
Today, do you accept the mantle of Christ? Can we find the strength to fight?
Fight darkness with light.
Fight hate with love.
Fight lies and disinformation with truth.
What do we gain with light, love, and truth? Strength.
When we stand together clothed in Christ, we combine our strength to resist the force of evil intent on destruction. We know that God is with us and we can feel gladness and life even in the midst of sorrow, loss, war.
The free world stands in awe of the resilience and spirit of Ukrainians in Ukraine. We too here fight the good fight of God’s love, in every gesture of kindness, no matter how small or large. Let’s grow together in this strength and power.
Christ is born!