Today’s Scripture: Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. Jeremiah 17:7
Yesterday, I told a tragic story where a song of hope sprung through the walls of a burning church in Korea. Today, we will see the rest of the story.
In 1972, years after the Japanese burned down this church, some Japanese pastors were touring Korea. They came across a memorial for the church which their people had burned down. They read the details of the tragedy and the names of the victims. As they stood there, these pastors became overcome with shame.
While they were not responsible for what happened many years earlier, they felt a sense of national guilt. Returning to Japan, they committed themselves to righting that wrong. They raised ¥10 million and built a beautiful white church right on the very spot where the old one burnt down.
The day came for the dedication service. Although the Koreans knew they ought to forgive the Japanese, there still was some tension. The Japanese had done some heinous things to the Koreans, but now they were brothers and sisters in Christ.
Someone had the idea to conclude the dedication service with the two songs the church had sung at the end of that fateful service. As they sang “Nearer My God to Thee,” you could tell that the Koreans were starting to be moved by emotion. When they came to the very song which was sung as the roof collapsed on the Korean believers, “At the Cross,” sobs broke out on both sides.
One Korean turned to a Japanese brother, and then another did the same. Soon the floodgates holding back the waves of emotion let go. The reconciled believers clung to each other and wept. The Japanese had tears of remorse; the Koreans had tears of forgiveness. Hope was present again at the beautiful white church in Korea.
When we have hope based on the unchanging, ever-loving Savior, our hope will never die. Hope isn’t based on our circumstances, and it isn’t restricted to just our lifetime. Christ’s hope truly is an undying hope.
Devotional by Jim Scudder Jr.