I just got an email earlier, letting me know that the Cubs are planting sunflowers for their gardener badge. They will start at home in a small pot and later they will plant them in our church garden.

Did you know that sunflower is the national flower of Ukraine!

If you have seen sunflowers growing, you noticed they always face towards the sun. In the morning they face east, then their heads follow the sun as it moves along the sky. During the night they reset to default mode and with the sunrise they start it afresh.

No matter what kind of day it is they always seek the sun, keep fixing themselves on the sunlight. The sun gives them life, makes them flower, and yield a crop. Without the sun they cannot survive. Even if the sky is covered by clouds, they turn their heads towards the slightest light that breaks through and soak it in!

The sky over Ukraine is overshadowed by attacking warplanes, dropping bombs, and rockets. The lives of millions are darkened with fear. Our prayers can break through that darkness and evil that the light of Christ will shine through, bringing hope, peace, and life. Continue to pray for the light of Christ to penetrate the darkness and cold of the underground shelters and the fear gripped hearts and minds of people. We know the life of Christ is the light of men and it shines in the darkness, and the darkness cannot overcome it.

Helen Keller, who was blind, once said, “Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadows.  It’s what the sunflowers do.”

I want to encourage you, if you have got a bit of a garden, plant sunflowers this spring as symbols of your prayers for the people of Ukraine. If you haven’t got a garden, plant it in our church garden! These giant flowers will stand erect as signs of our prayers for the light of God to break through all darkness, fear, and war!

As the sunflower is fixed on the sun and turns around following it like a satellite dish for light and life, we fix our hearts, minds, souls and strength on you Lord Jesus, Light of the World. Shine your light and life into the darkness, fear, and war in Ukraine, and in every troubled land and heart, so your enduring peace, new life, and unshakable hope will spring up in them through your Spirit. Amen.

[from GV]

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