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 14, 2021
Shalom: The Way to Hope (Week 4)

As Christians we hope for things yet seen. We look forward to the promise of a new day. Hope, though, can be hard to hold on to. In the season of Lent, what are you hoping for? Who do you hope in?

Add to your peace prayer “tree”
This past week, the daily devotionals talked about healing and wholeness. Add to your prayer “tree” petitions for those who are in need of healing, be it physical, emotional or spiritual.
Hope unseen

"For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience."  Romans 8:24–25

I hope for a better future. We are living through a crisis of a lifetime. As I write this, the country is seeing the highest spikes in COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations and deaths, with no end in sight. The nation is shaken by the attack on our democracy. I hope everyone will be vaccinated soon, so we no longer need to worry about this virus. I hope we will work together to build a better democracy, work towards equity and justice for all people and build a stronger nation.

In times of crisis our relationship with God comes into full focus as we cry out for God’s attention. What’s important becomes very clear. In less chaotic times, we become so distracted by the routines of life that our relationship with God suffers. Our worship becomes rote, and our vision for a new way of doing things becomes dull. In those moments, our imagination can use a boost of color. And imagination is one of the greatest gifts God has given us. God’s handiwork in the Hebrew Scriptures is a way to imagine God’s glory as reflected in God’s creation — the sunrises and the sunsets, the sun and the moon and the stars, and the changing of the seasons, the mountains and the oceans — the magnificent glory of God’s creation echoing God’s glory.

Hope in God is an indwelling of God’s presence for the fulfilment of God’s promise to us in Christ. God invites us to be holy and to share in God’s glory. May we wait in devotion and service for that peaceable and flourishing world. May our imaginations of what can be beautifully color a new world yet to be seen.

Lord, the hope you give us is greater than what we can ever hope or imagine. Help us to be filled with your hope that awakens our spirits to serve you with joy, and with justice and mercy. 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