This Joint Easter Prayer comes with best wishes from the Korea Christian Federation of North Korea and the National Council of Churches in South Korea.
2016 Easter Joint North-South Prayer
Thank you for letting us know, as we hear the trickling waters beneath the melting ice, that spring is not far away.
Thank you for showing us through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ that a new road lies beyond the one that ends.
Our people had shared joy, anger, sorrow, and pleasure, but for the last 70 years we have lived separated as North and South embracing our wounds and pains.
We have not ended division and conflict only to find out ourselves that such 70 years were not enough. How can it be that 70 years were not enough to end division and conflict? And in fact a higher wall is rising in front of us. Amidst the vicious cycle of division, distrust, dispute and arms race, our land and sea has become a military experimentation field of weapons, not knowing when war will break out. The bridge that once yearned for peace and unification has crumbled and the bird that once flew over that bridge, wet with rain, is no longer able to fly.
Have we stimulated misunderstanding and enmity even while speaking of reconciliation?
Have we aggravated conflict and confrontation even while speaking of ending the division?
Have we incited misunderstanding and distrust even while speaking of faith?
Have we been blind to our own self-interest even while speaking of co-existence?
Have we chosen the road that threatens our life even while speaking of our people’s survival and security?
God of grace,
Please let us see ourselves rightly, we who have gone against the path of life and taken part in destruction instead of peace. Have mercy on us and forgive us when we repent our foolishness and change our paths with tears in our eyes. When we fail to realize our wrongs and continue to drive community to the cliff, please stop our steps and with your whip of love lash our obstinacy and ignorance.
We yearn that compatriots of the North and South unlock the latch of separation and mightly soar on two wings.
For this hope to be fulfilled, the churches in the North and South will
build a bridge of forgiveness and reconciliation where there is hate and division,
let rivers of dialogue flow where there is distrust and confrontation,
plant trees and create forests where there is violence and destruction.
God of resurrection,
let the churches of the North and South hunger and thirst for righteousness,
Lead us to cultivate such desires and will into courage and wisdom and become communions of faith that make peace.
In this cold and bleak season, let our people and our neighboring countries meet the tidings of spring and lights of life that break free from the icy ground.
In Jesus Christ’s name we pray. Amen.
National Council of Churches in Korea (NCCK) and Korean Christian Federation (KCF)
(The NCCK of the South and the KCF of the North worked together to prepare this Joint Easter Community Prayer)