CHALICE LIGHTING WORDS

by CRAIG HAMILTON (6 May)

Watching Kim Jung-un, Supreme Leader of North Korea, and Moon Jae-in, President of South Korea, last week step toward each other across their border lines to shake hands, hug and smile, and talk openly about Peace, made many people around the world hopeful for a brighter future for all.

The promises of denuclearization, of friendship, and pledges to move toward a harmonious Korea could give many people on Earth the hope that the fractious, frightening black cloud that has, at times, made the world shudder is about to dissolve, just dark memories of the past.

But Unitarian Universalism teaches me to be joyful and hopeful, but cautious of promises made by men and women who have shown their own people hunger, brainwashing and dictatorship from their own cushioned lives on high.

Today I ask that the Peace Candle be lit not only for the hope of Peace on Earth, beginning with North and South Korea, but for the many prisoners detained in North Korean work camps, some from countries outside Korea whose families wait and pray for their release. The prisoners who are starved, beaten and made to work manual labour throughout the year for crimes such as taking photographs.

For the citizens of North Korea who are hungry for food, knowledge, love and warmth. Particularly the children who are poor, in tatters, and working hard to stay alive. Along with halting nuclear tests and missiles, perhaps the light of love from candles across the world will encourage a halt to punishment, dictatorship, hunger and imprisonment.