As we continue the season of Lent, APC invites you to enjoy this special Lenten devotional series from Presbyterians Today (PCUSA) entitled
The Way to Shalom: A Lenten Journey to Peace and Wholeness.
March 7, 2021
Shalom: The Way to Healing (Week 3)

In Hebrew, “shalom” can also mean wholeness. When Jesus first appeared to his friends as the Risen Lord, he greeted them with words of shalom. “Peace,” he said. What he was wishing for them was healing in their grieving and wholeness for their shattered dreams. What healing do you need this Lent? What would it take to achieve wholeness in the life of your immediate family, church community or neighborhood? And do you have the courage to be the one who stands amid the brokenness and proclaims shalom — wholeness — to others?

Add to your peace prayer “tree”
This past week, the daily devotionals talked about peace being able to take away fear, peace being able to produce joy, and peace that can be seen when we dare to move closer to God and keep our eyes on Christ. Add to your prayer “tree” petitions for those who are afraid, for those who harbor resentment and for those who perhaps have turned away from God. Write their name (or even your name, if need be) on a strip of fabric or paper. Pray over each name. Now prepare for the third week of Lent by thinking about healing and wholeness.
A peaceful rest is possible

"I will both lie down and sleep in peace; for you alone, O Lord, make me lie down in safety."  Psalm 4:8

Another casualty of the continuing pandemic is the lack of a good night’s sleep, which is not good as sleepless nights can aggravate physical and mental health problems, according to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Take a look around; there does seem to be more commercials for sleep aids and more advertisements for apps that will help one doze off peacefully. Sleeping aids and apps aside, Lent is a season to breathe deeply and center ourselves — to find space where wholeness and healing can thrive.

Lent is a season that traditionally focuses heavily on confession, penitence and forgiveness. The moving of our lives closer to God through these activities can be powerful, easing our minds and our souls. To sleep in the understanding of the love of God and the sacrifice of the Son for us, leads all parts of our life to a fundamental deep peace. And to the sleep that might eludes us: Don’t count sheep. Count blessings. And peace will come.

Lord God, in this time of Lent, help us to so confess and offer penance that we may find as we turn in at night, peace will be the blanket that covers us. In Christ’s name, we pray. Amen.
About the authors:
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.
Alpharetta Presbyterian Church
180 Academy Street, Alpharetta, GA 30009