Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Today is Finnish Independence Day.  Taking advantage of the revolutionary chaos in Russia, Finnish Senate President Pehr Evind Svinhufvud introduced the resolution and it was adopted by Parliament on this day in 1917. Finland had been given the trappings of government but had no real freedom. Much to Finland’s surprise, Lenin accepted the declaration.  It looked like there might be peace.


Within a few years, however, Finland became engaged in a terrible civil war, pitting “Reds” against “Whites.”  It took decades for the country to heal.  Unity was restored during the Winter War, when Finland defended itself against a Soviet Army of 450,000, invading a country of about 4 million.


Finns mark this day by putting two blue and white candles in their windows, visiting the graves of the war dead, and attending church services in memory of those who died for Finland’s freedom.  Finland has opened its doors to refugees from round the world and, knowing the cost of war, has taken almost 40,000 from Ukraine this year.


Prayer for the Day


In a season looking for peace, we see the terrible cost of war
   With death and destruction the results of the desire for power;
Just as Herod and Rome crushed people under their domination,
    So, too, those in power today attempt to grind people into submission.
Where, O God, is the peace that we so desperately need,
    And how can we accomplish it without violence and war?
In the name of the One who calls us to peace,
    Even Christ Jesus our Lord, Amen.


Thoughts for the Day


It isn’t enough to talk about peace; one must believe in it.  And it isn’t enough to believe in peace; one must work for it.
      - Eleanor Roosevelt, humanitarian (1884-1962)


An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.
     - Mahatma Gandhi, architect of peace (1869-1948)


When the oppressor is no more, and destruction has ceased,
   And marauders have vanished from the land,
Then a throne shall be established in steadfast love in the tent of David,
   And on it shall sit in faithfulness, a ruler who seeks justice
      And is swift to do what is right.
    Isaiah 15: 4-5