March 18, 2021
Shalom: The Way to Hope (Week 4)
A living hope
"By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled and unfading, kept in heaven for you."  1 Peter 1:3b-4

It seems our popular culture craves superheroes that will save us from an impending doom: Wonder Woman, X-Men, Iron Man, Captain America and Superman. With their supernatural powers, they can scale and jump over buildings and use their super strength to overcome evil forces.

But this pandemic has shown us that our real superheroes are ordinary people carrying out their duties, performing their responsibilities day in and day out. These are the doctors and nurses and health care workers in nursing homes, the postal workers and mail carriers, the delivery drivers, grocery cashiers and truck drivers — all of whom are essential workers keeping our society functioning as they put their lives on the line. We give thanks for our everyday heroes.

Throughout the Bible, God has a way of using ordinary folks to fulfill the divine mission for God’s purpose. He chooses the outcasts, the nobodies, those who wouldn’t be considered hero worthy by society. Mary Magdalene, Matthew the tax collector and Mary, the mother of Jesus, are just a few. And consider this: While Saul was a strong handsome warrior, God chose David, a teenager tending sheep in the field to be the greatest king Israel ever had. Peter, the author of today’s Scripture passage, had obvious flaws that would not make him the candidate to be the rock on which the church would be built, and yet he became one of the early leaders of the church.

Everyday heroes are everywhere. And one of them is now reading this Lenten devotional: you. Peter calls us to be disciplined and ready for action, meditating on the sufferings destined for Christ and the subsequent glory and the hope on grace that Jesus Christ will reveal. God is with us yesterday, today and tomorrow. 

Lord, help us to draw from your everlasting strength and be the everyday heroes you desire us to be for the healing of your world. 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.
Alpharetta Presbyterian Church
180 Academy Street, Alpharetta, GA 30009