March 27, 2021
Shalom: The Way to Repairing (Week 5)

Now I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you be in agreement and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same purpose. 1 Corinthians 1:10

The divide in our nation has been very apparent in recent years. This division has led to fear, hatred, and destruction. We are in dire need of unity and healing.
However, before we can even begin the work of repairing and move toward reconciliation, we must acknowledge our wrongs. There are past and present atrocities that have not fully been acknowledged. The colonization of the Americas and the enslavement of African Americans are two horrific events in America’s history that still need to be addressed. These events breached trust; they stripped the dignity from and took the lives of many.

Though these events took place long ago, the descendants of Indigenous peoples and enslaved African Americans are still suffering. People lost their languages, their native religions, and their cultural identities. Families were separated. Land and income were stolen.

As we look forward to unifying our nation, let us not forget the pain and suffering that are part of our history. This Lent, as people of faith, let us take on the role of repairers — restoring the dignity of those who have been harmed.

Loving God, guide us as we journey to become a more unified nation. Give us the humility, grace, and courage to make right our wrongs. 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