In the build up to Lent I watched the television in disbelief to see images of Russian forces invading Ukraine. And in the weeks that have since passed, the images from the news have just got worse and worse. Shelling near nuclear powerplants, the Chernobyl site being attacked. News of millions of refugees. Protests in Russia. Sanctions across the world. And at the heart of it, people, people whose lives have been torn apart. Teachers making Molotov cocktails, lawyers holding machine guns. families being split up. Families grieving the brutal deaths of much-loved family members. Some countries opening their doors to refugees. Some doing less.
It all feels like a relic of the 20th century is actively taking place in the 21st century. And it is utterly tragic. Who knows what the state of things will be by the time you read these words in April…..
Lent is the season of the Church’s liturgical year when we are encouraged to reflect on our mistakes, on the way we live our lives and to begin to look towards Easter, when the death and resurrection of Jesus brings about a hopeful new future for humanity.
This year the need for hope feels more and more important than for a long time. And the hope we have in Jesus is once again, a timeless hope, a hope we can hold onto when all the world feels like sinking sand.