Peace for Ukraine – 21 February 2022

Here is a colourful and naïve picture by the Ukrainian folk art painter Maria Prymachenko. Take a moment to look carefully, and notice how you feel.

A Ukrainian woman in peasant dress rides a lion. The beast is enormous, but friendly. Its attention is turned towards the woman sitting on its back and embracing his mane. All around flowers bloom, signs of life and hope.

How can it be that fierceness and peace can be brought together in harmony?

Maria Prymachenko was born in 1908 in the Ukrainian village of Bolotria. She died in 1997 at the age of 88. Her mother and grandmother were skilled embroiderers and taught this craft to Maria. She was greatly impacted by contracting polio when she was a child. She grew to be compassionate and thoughtful, with compassion for all living things. Her works are mysterious and emotionally charged, sitting within the tradition of Ukranian folk-art which balances understandings of good and evil, ugliness and beauty. The struggle between good and evil permeates all of Pryimachenko’s works. Good always triumphs in her compositions.


The wolf shall live with the lamb,
the leopard shall lie down with the kid,
the calf and the lion and the fatling together,
and a little child shall lead them.

Isaiah 11:6


Jesus said: “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.

Luke 6:27-31


Dear Lord
Author of all peace who through your son reconciled us to yourself, we pray for peace in our world at a time of heightened tensions.
We pray:
for our governments and political leaders – for wise counsel and sound initiative to defuse tension
for diplomats – that they may have space to negotiate
for the people of Ukraine – that their close ties with the people of Russia and other neighbours will remain strong even in the face of military threat.
We pray that all governments commit time to dialogue and understanding, respect the will and freedom of all peoples, invest in welfare and alleviation of poverty and reject militarism and the threat of violence.
May Christ’s teaching and example be our inspiration, may hearts and minds be changed, and may your holy spirit be at work transforming each of us day by day,
Through your everlasting grace and mercy

The Methodist Church