“They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.”
December 2, 2010
Dear United Methodists:
Advent greetings to you in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior, the Prince of Peace, Healer of our brokenness and Hope of the world!
The most recent conflict in the Korean Peninsula is extremely serious with sufficient volatility that could lead to another war. As you may know, the Korean War waged between 1950 and 1953 resulted in millions of deaths and injuries. Now, with the world’s largest concentration of military forces stationed along the Demilitarized Zone, and with a growing number of weapons including nuclear weapons in the peninsula, the current escalation of hostilities poses an unprecedented threat to the world as well as to the Korean people. In light of the grave consequences of wrong choices, emotional responses should never replace rational ones. Another war must never be repeated.
Divided for over 65 years, Korea is the only country in the world that still remains the same after the end of the Cold War. Presently, animosity between South Korea and North Korea is increasing. As Jesus lamented with tears over Jerusalem, the way to peace seems still to be hidden. We, too, weep as our hearts are broken over the death and destruction that has already occurred in the most recent hostilities and over the horrible human tragedy that another war inevitably would create.
As peace-loving people, this is indeed the time to pray for God’s mercy, wisdom and guidance. Our prayer should also entail our commitment to being an instrument of peace. We must encourage every means that may help ease the tension and enhance positive relations between South and North. We are called to be a peace-making people in whatever ways we can. Following the Prince of Peace and God’s own vision of peace for the world, we shall never give up on the prospects of peace for such a time as this.