The opera is based on the story of a South Korean minister in the middle part of the last century, named Rev. Yang-Won Sohn, who earned himself the nickname of the “Atomic Bomb of Love.”1 He had been imprisoned for five years for refusing to bow before a Shinto shrine the Japanese had placed in front of his church. Sohn also had two sons that were preparing to enter the ministry as well, and both sons had plans to study in America. However, during the 1948 Yeo-Soon Rebellion, another student with ties to the North and a group of four others brutally dragged his sons into the street, demanding at gunpoint that they renounce their faith in Jesus or be killed. The two sons refused, instead taking it as a time to tell others about the gospel. They were both tortured and eventually shot and killed right there in the
When the government was finally able to take back control of the area, the shooter and the four others who were with him were arrested and were facing the death penalty for their actions. At the trial, Rev. Yang-Won Sohn lobbied for the release of the boys who murdered his sons, and even went so far as to adopt the young man who had murdered his sons, saving him from the death penalty. As you might imagine, his newly adopted son quickly became a follower of Jesus.
At the funeral for his two sons, Rev. Sohn closed with this prayer of thanksgiving which I think shows us in vibrant and stunning detail what forgiveness from the heart looks like:
- My God, I thank You, for having allowed martyrs to be born in the family of sinners such as mine.
- My Lord, I thank You for having entrusted me, out of countless believers, with such precious treasures.
- Among my three sons and three daughters, I thank You for my blessings through which I could offer You my two most beautiful children, my oldest and second oldest sons.
- I thank You for the martyrdom for two of my children, when the martyrdom of one child in itself is much more precious than I could bear.
- I thank You for the martyrdom of my sons who were shot to death while they were preaching the gospel, when dying peacefully on his deathbed in itself is a tremendous blessing for a believer.
- I thank You for my heart is at peace as my sons, who had been preparing to go and study in America, are now in a place that is much better than America.
- God, I thank You for giving me a heart of love for repentance of the enemy who murdered my sons and compelling me to adopt him as my own son.
- My Father God, I thank you for there will now be countless more sons of heaven through the fruit of the martyrdom of my sons.
- I thank and thank Our Lord Jesus Christ, who has given me these eight truths in times of such adversity, a joyful heart seeking faith and love, and a faith that provides me with composure.
1Excerpt taken from Rev. J. Curtis Goforth’s sermon “Love’s Atomic Bomb” on Matthew 18:21-35 (Setpember 14, 2014)
Get your tickets now before seats sell out!
Friday, February 23 @ 7:30 PM
Saturday, February 24 @ 7:00 PM
Immanuel Chapel at Light Presbyterian Church
6965 Professional Court, Mississauga, L4V 1Y3
Front: $100 | Back: $50 | Balcony: $30
Available after Sunday Service in the front atrium
*English subtitles will be available.