I know you are joining me in prayer for the families and friends in my native country of South Korea as we mourn the loss of so many lives following the terrible ferry accident this past week. I know you share tears and grief over the terrible loss, and all our hearts are heavy with sadness.
In this Easter season as we celebrate God's love in Jesus Christ and the hope of Easter, we are reminded again of the power of love and life over death and loss. And when we gather for worship and prayer in the days ahead, remember those who are so deep in grief and sadness. We pray all those who are sad and overwhelmed with grief will find God's comfort, strength, and hope in the presence and support of others.
In times like this, we are reminded that to have faith when all is going well is much easier than when we are faced with great tragedy and loss. Our hearts are breaking with the families who have learned of the death of their children and for so many others who have yet to learn but fear the worst has happened. And we pray for the crew of the ship and others whose actions and failure to act are being scrutinized. This accident is a terrible burden to bear for all involved.
But, we do see God at work even in the most difficult circumstances. We see God in all the ways people from around the world reach out willing to share and willing to help, encourage, and lift up those who struggle.
This day and every day we claim again the promise, God walks with those who feel forsaken and brings comfort to the broken hearted. That is what Jesus promised when he said, "How blessed are those who mourn, because it is they who will be comforted." (Matthew 5:4)
Grace and Peace,
Hee-Soo Jung, Ph.D.
Bishop Hee-Soo Jung has served as resident bishop of the Wisconsin Annual Conference since September of 2012. Prior to leading the Wisconsin Conference UMC, Bishop Jung served eight years as bishop of the Northern Illinois Conference (Chicago area).