I wish you the grace of God, the blessing, and above all peace and hope in your heart in this troubled and difficult time! And, of course, we all have a common wish and prayer: Peace for Ukraine!
We have probably asked ourselves so many times in these days what we can do to end this horror in Ukraine. We ask each one separately, but we also ask this question together, together with our church and why not with our school. What role could we play in helping to end this tragedy?
I believe that, first and foremost, we all have to think about these things correctly and speak the right and true words. I am proud of my home church, the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church, that as a church government, we condemned Russia’s aggression in Ukraine in the early days of the war, as most churches and Christian organizations in the world have done.
I am also pleased that yesterday, on March 17th, the Estonian Council of Churches expressed its clear position, and the fact that the name of Metropolitan Yevgeny, who heads the Moscow Orthodox Church in Estonia, stands next to the names of other Estonian church leaders. It is important that our starting point is true and correct, that we do not allow ourselves to be misled in any way by putin and his extremist lies and intimidation of the fascist regime, hatred of man and blasphemy.
Next, prayer is very important, perhaps even the most important in today’s situation. It is probably so, that we no longer need to be reminded of this at the moment – we have an uninterrupted flow of pain and tears from Ukraine, and we are raising it before God. If we don’t, we may soon find ourselves depressed or even broken. As such, we are unfortunately unable to fulfill the mission Jesus has given us as peacemakers.
It is very grateful that through the well-known Estonian poetess Doris Kareva, we have received a call from Odessa to pray for Ukraine every day at three in the afternoon. In his short cover, She refers to Winston Churchill, who made such a call in the days of World War II and was convinced that it was of great benefit.
At the same time, our dean Randar Tasmuth has emphasized the need for fasting and repentance, which are as visible signs and like twin brothers to prayer. Let us pray for Ukraine, but also for the peace in Estonia and the whole world. The week we live in has also placed before us an infinite storehouse of prayer and faith and trust that will change circumstances.
And finally, we should be active. We can even rejoice together that the people of Estonia are the people who help, as someone said, that is in our genotype. If we think about the aid that has gone to Ukraine during the last three weeks, but also to the Ukrainians who have fled to Estonia or who are continuing their refugee journey from Estonia, today we are talking about tens of millions of euros. If Estonia’s military aid to Ukraine is added here, tens and tens of millions more will come. The contribution is further enhanced by the work of thousands of volunteers in various aid organizations, municipalities and government agencies.
Christian charity and the Spirit of Christ are most evident in helping one’s neighbor, especially in receiving strangers. This experience gives us a great encouragement at a time when the number of church members is declining, that Christian values and attitudes, helping one’s neighbor and serving his or her various needs have not disappeared from Estonia. Indeed, there is something to thank God for and continue to serve Christ in the joyful and hopeful power of the Holy Spirit in the land of Mary to support our Ukrainian brothers and sisters and achieve peace in their homeland.