February 23, 2021
Shalom: The Way to Justice (Week 1)
Peace for Korea
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6–7

Peace is a state of tranquility or quietness of spirit that transcends circumstances. The term “peace” is described in Scripture as a gift from God and congruent with God’s character.

The word for peace in Korean is pyonghwa. For centuries the Korean peninsula was a single, unified nation. It was occupied by the Japanese Empire for 35 years from 1910 until the end of World War II in 1945 when it was divided into two nations by two war allies “in name only” — the Soviet Union and the United States — to divide control over the Korean peninsula.

Between 1945 and 1948, the Soviet Union set up a communist regime in the north, and in the south, the United States established a military government. The Korean War (1950–53) was among the most destructive conflicts of the modern era with approximately 3 million war fatalities and it incurred the destruction of virtually all of Korea’s major cities in the entire Korean peninsula. An armistice ended the conflict in 1953 with a demilitarized zone running roughly along the 38th parallel dividing the two nations.

Most gracious God, we pray for peace on the Korean peninsula. Please grant us the peace of God that grants a tranquil state of being as we submit to and trust the commandments of God. It changes and transforms our relationships. Grant us the humility and courage to experience and share God’s peace, seeking beyond the mere abilities of our own understanding. In Christ’s name, we pray. Amen.
About the authors of "The Way to Shalom: A Lenten Journey to Peace and Wholeness" from Presbyterians Today (PCUSA): The Rev. Jimmie Hawkins, director of the Presbyterian Office of Public Witness in Washington, D.C., is joined by colleagues Catherine Gordon, associate for international issues; Christian Brooks, representative for domestic poverty issues; Sue Rheem, representative for the United Nations; and Ivy Lopedito, a mission specialist for the United Nations, in writing this year’s devotional. The Office of Public Witness is the denomination’s advocate and social witness in Washington, D.C. Learn more.
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