When the cultural celebration is somewhere I have lived (Brazil, England) or whose music and literature I love (Russia), I watch every minute. This Olympics is especially fun since I have visited Korea several times in the four years leading up to these games to spend time with our daughter and family living there. Last spring the hype was already huge. I snapped this mascot in a Seoul shopping mall.
And so each time I turn on my television to watch my favorite figure skaters or drop my jaw for the luge or furrow my brow over how I can possibly be so mesmerized by a game that looks a lot like horseshoes on ice played with polished rocks and brooms, I say a prayer for just and peaceful reconciliation on the Korean Peninsula. Just, because North Koreans are human beings, too, created in the image of God and as deserving of freedom and security as any of us. Peaceful, because the alternative is beyond fathoming.
Will you join me in praying for Korea these seventeen days? Look beyond the medal count, records set and personal stories to what will be left when the world goes home and two Koreas face each another once more over a heavily fortified DMZ. Ask God to do something powerful—to do what he did in Europe thirty years ago—bring down a wall. Pray for political leaders—theirs and ours—for wisdom, for humility, for a perspective that goes beyond scoring short term political points to what is best for a people who have to live (or die) with the outcome. Pray for God's people in Korea, North and South, for courage, for faith and for selfless love.
If you aren’t watching the games, I invite you to choose some other trigger to remind you to pray. Feel free to write your prayers in the comment section.