Lection Connection

October 16, 2022: Never Give Up

From Fraser Macnaughton

 

Opposition to Vladimir Putin’s recent partial mobilization of the Russian male population is being met with stern resistance within the country. Protests against the mobilization order to recruit more people for Russia’s army appear to be continuing in the Russian republic of Dagestan, with videos showing standoffs between police and the public. Video footage posted on social media shows the police arresting demonstrators. A video appeared to show people angrily confronting an official arguing in favour of the draft at a recruitment centre. The official said that her son had been fighting in Ukraine since February. “You’re fighting for your children’s future,” shouted the woman, who was not identified, in front of a crowd outside a municipal building. “We don’t have a present, what kind of future are you talking about?” a man in the crowd responded. The order will see thousands more Russians drafted to be part of the war effort in Ukraine.

Meanwhile long queues of vehicles are at border crossing between Russia and Mongolia as people continue to flee the Kremlin’s partial mobilization order. The head of a checkpoint in the town of Altanbulag had more than 3,000 Russians entering Mongolia via the crossing.

Some brave souls are not giving up and taking more direct action. A drafting office in southwest Russia came under attack from a man who threw Molotov cocktails at the building in protest of the war in Ukraine. After having rammed a car into the entrance of the building, the man stands in the street and begins lobbing petrol bombs into the building. As the office soon alights, the man continues to throw Molotov cocktails and, as a film of the event shows, the blaze spreads rapidly.

In Siberia, another man shot a military draft officer to at his friend’s conscription. Video clips show the official being carried from the building and placed on to a stretcher. He appeared not to be moving. According to reports, the man said moments before opening fire, “nobody is going to go anywhere’

More than 2,000 people have been detained across Russia for protesting the draft, according to independent monitoring groups. With criticism of the conflict banned, the demonstrations were among the first signs of discontent since the war began.

 

Explore… Luke 18:1–8

  • How do you react when you see people taking justice into their own hands?
  • Can you think of any instances where prayer has been enough to change the course of something that is unjust?
  • How do you reconcile the support given to President Putin by the Russian Orthodox church to pursue the war in Ukraine with the gospel message of peace and justice?
  • Share any stories you know of ordinary people who never gave up?

 

Prayer…
May the Spirit of Christ help us as we navigate our way along his Way. Often we reach crossroads and are unsure of the correct path. May we have wisdom, may we have discernment, may we have grace to follow and never give up. Amen.

 

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