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Ukraine is in the news this week as yet another country that is tearing itself apart. But today something of a deal has been brokered by EU ministers and others, and not so far away in Sochi a Ukrainian team has won the country’s first ever Winter Olympic medal, a gold in the biathlon relay. How poignant it must be to win for your country when it’s not even clear what ‘your country’ is.

Lord of all, strengthen the resolve of those working for a peaceful way forward in Ukraine. Comfort those whose family members and friends have died in the chaos. I pray that innocent bystanders,who are trying to keep going in their everyday lives at work and school will feel your presence to calm their fears and will maintain their trust in the hope that your peace will prevail. Amen.