Hope of the Nations
I recently spent the month of March in Korea with my daughter and her family. (More about that next week.) Everywhere we looked we saw crosses, often lit at night, indicating churches. God has done a powerful work in that country in the last fifty years. Almost 30% of the country now identifies as Christian, although Buddhist temples remain as marks of traditional culture. When my daughter and I travelled to Seoul, a monk stood outside the train station, hitting a wood block with a stick.
“The Korean equivalent of a Salvation Army bell ringer,” my daughter explained.
Palm Sunday we attended the army base worship service. My daughter sings on the worship team, but this Sunday there was also a team from the Spanish speaking service, and a worship band of Korean soldiers that had grandson Simeon hopping in the aisles.
This Easter the world is on my mind. “God so loved THE WORLD that he sent his son” (John 3:16). Not the United States. Not upper-middle-class, educated people like me. He is building his church—the Body of Christ on this earth, the Kingdom of God—and it is an international, intercultural, interracial Body/Kingdom. South Korea is now the second-largest missionary-sending country in the world (after the US). A land that was closed until the late 19th century, now taking the gospel to the ends of the earth.
Matthew called the Messiah “Hope of the Nations” (Matthew 12:21). One look at any news site will convince you that the nations need hope! Let this Easter be a time of praying for the nations to know our risen Savior.
1 Sing to the Lord a new song;
sing to the Lord, all the earth.
2 Sing to the Lord, praise his name;
proclaim his salvation day after day.
3 Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous deeds among all peoples.
4 For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
he is to be feared above all gods.
5 For all the gods of the nations are idols,
but the Lord made the heavens.
6 Splendor and majesty are before him;
strength and glory are in his sanctuary.
7 Ascribe to the Lord, all you families of nations,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
8 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
bring an offering and come into his courts.
9 Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness;
tremble before him, all the earth.
10 Say among the nations, “The Lord reigns.”
The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved;
he will judge the peoples with equity.
11 Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad;
let the sea resound, and all that is in it.
12 Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them;
let all the trees of the forest sing for joy.
13 Let all creation rejoice before the Lord, for he comes,
he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness
and the peoples in his faithfulness.
4/4/2015 10:07:00 am
Glad you got to go, but also glad you are home safely. What a violent, mixed up world we live in. I thank God every day for his extraordinary generosity to me in letting me be born into a country where His name is preached. And in just six hours it will be Easter Sunday - He is risen indeed!
4/5/2015 02:34:28 pm
Thanx, Leanne. It brought back memories of my time there years ago, first in 1951--52 as a sailor, then again in 1991 as a civilian-professor. I love those people.
4/6/2015 01:57:51 am
The photo at the top of the page is outside the Korean War Museum, a very moving place. We also visited the memorial at Incheon. It was hard to look around and think that everyone my age and older remembered those dark days--and how incredibly their world had changed since then.
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LeAnne Hardy has lived in six countries on four continents. Her books come out of her cross-cultural experiences and her passion to use story to convey spiritual truths in a form that will permeate lives.
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