February 19, 2021
Shalom: The Way to Justice (Week 1)
Justice repairs broken promises
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid." John 14:27

Jesus promises a legacy of peace for all who believe in him. The rights of the poor deserve defending. We live in a society which has abandoned the rights of the impoverished. There is no peace without justice; there is no justice without peace. Justice and peace exist together, and the search for one leads to the other. Peace seeks the ending of war between nations, countries and individuals. Peace is living a life seeking the elimination of conflict as a means to resolved differences. Peace denotes integrity and respect for the other.

The word peace in the Cherokee language is dohiyi. For centuries, American Native Nations have experienced broken treaties and unfulfilled promises. The Cherokee Nation, a sovereign tribal government, adopted a constitution on September 6, 1839, which was 68 years prior to Oklahoma’s statehood. It is the largest tribe in the United States with more than 380,000 tribal citizens located in all 50 states. More than 141,000 reside within the tribe’s reservation boundaries in northeastern Oklahoma. It is committed to protecting its people’s sovereignty, culture, language and values. It seeks to improve their quality of life by providing services in health and human services, education, employment, housing, economic and infrastructure development, and environmental protection.

God calls us to work for the well-being of all people. It all begins with respect and a determination to repair broken promises and fulfill our national commitment to justice.

Lord God, as disciples of Christ, we confront the issues of injustice which are rampant against the Cherokee people. Use us to walk alongside those who walked the trails lined with tears. May the One who heals, restores and redeems send his Holy Spirit. In Christ’s name, we pray. Amen.
About the authors of "The Way to Shalom: A Lenten Journey to Peace and Wholeness" from Presbyterians Today (PCUSA): The Rev. Jimmie Hawkins, director of the Presbyterian Office of Public Witness in Washington, D.C., is joined by colleagues Catherine Gordon, associate for international issues; Christian Brooks, representative for domestic poverty issues; Sue Rheem, representative for the United Nations; and Ivy Lopedito, a mission specialist for the United Nations, in writing this year’s devotional. The Office of Public Witness is the denomination’s advocate and social witness in Washington, D.C. Learn more.
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