Easter Memory from Korea

Site of Easter Sunrise Service on Nam San (South Mountain) in Seoul

First memory of Easter: as a child, on South Mountain in Seoul, Korea, for the Sunrise Service. 

From every direction came figures on foot in the dark. Thousands upon thousands. Silent. Plodding. Climbing. Most with one volume held close. All with a memory. 

Japan had ruled Korea for the first half of the twentieth century. On this spot had stood a Shinto Shrine, at which the Japanese forced Koreans to worship the emperor. 

Because of their allegiance to Christ, many Korean believers refused. They had been beaten, imprisoned, or worse. The first thing the Koreans did when liberated after World War II was to tear down that shrine. 

Now in the darkness, long before the sun rose that Easter morning, the Light of the World illumined their steps. They just kept coming. And coming. A great multitude. From the north and the south and the east and the west, they came. 

Free at last to worship the Savior, they came. Hearts ablaze. 

Then, at first light, together singing: 

Jesus Christ is risen today, Hallelujah!
Our triumphant holy day, Hallelujah!
Who did once, upon the cross, Hallelujah!
Suffer to redeem our loss, Hallelujah!