Many elements of the war in Ukraine have been astounding. Western businesses, like MasterCard and Visa, independent of governments, enforce their own sanctions on Russia. That Germany would realise the weakness of NATO, and double its expenditure on defence. But none is more inspiring than to see the human spirit stand and fight for freedom, and against injustice.
Ukraine is being led by a former comedian. A man who has the pedigree of Charlie Chaplain, but is channelling the passion and resolve of Churchill. He is garnering support and propagating courage, both inside and outside his homeland.
To see Ukrainian rock stars, returning Olympians and other world-class sportsmen, and a former beauty queen – let alone ordinary Ukrainians take up arms against a superior invading army is inspiring.
I cannot but help think that we take freedom for granted, and lost a sense of its true value. We frame freedom as the ability to make a mobile phone call. We are free to do and choose what we want. Freedom is first freedom from – from oppression and evil.
Second, follows an equally weighty question. What does one do with this precious gift of freedom?
Paul reflects on this in Ephesians 5. Do not accept the freedom we receive in Christ, to then enslave yourself to the things of this world.
Freedom costs. Not just more expensive fuel. It is costing Ukrainians deeply, and it cost Jesus his life. Use your freedom in ways that reflect its true value.
Rev David Rietveld