Thousands of stories are emerging from the invasion of Ukraine. One story in the news this week was of a moment of peace. A Russian soldier surrendered to Ukrainians. The villagers he surrendered to offered him warm food and tea, and helped him to call his mother on video. They could have taken advantage of the young man’s vulnerability and hopelessness. Instead, they met him with compassion. They offered care.
Recently, I had need to use an AED. These automatic emergency devices scan a person electrically and determine if they need CPR or a rescue shock. They record heart rhythms and monitor a person until trained medical personnel arrive. In order to help keep people attentive and focused on the person in distress, the machine speaks instructions. If no defibrillator shock is needed, the calm automated voice simply states, “continue care.” What a great reminder for all of us.
As the world around us swirls with chaos, as it always has, scripture reminds us to remain calm. The words of Jesus from Holy Week come through clearly. “Love one another as I have loved you.” In other words, just as Jesus has done patiently and gently and compassionately every time someone is in pain, in need, in trouble, in sin, in loneliness has come to them, continue care. This week, watch the news - international and local. Listen to the announcements in worship of upcoming mission needs and projects. Contribute, volunteer, and continue care.