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  • Writer's pictureCatherine Cowell


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Thoughts about shalom:

Shalom is a much broader, wider, deeper concept than our idea of peace, which is usually how it's translated in our bibles.

What is shalom?

The webbing together of God, humans, and all creation in justice, fulfillment, and delight is what the Hebrew prophets call shalom. We call it peace but it means far more than mere peace of mind or a cease-fire between enemies. In the Bible, shalom means universal flourishing, wholeness and delight – a rich state of affairs in which natural needs are satisfied and natural gifts fruitfully employed, a state of affairs that inspires joyful wonder as its Creator and Savior opens doors and welcomes the creatures in whom he delights. Shalom, in other words, is the way things ought to be...

Here are some verses from the Bible, which read more deeply if you think of the word 'peace' as being shalom, rather than simply the absence of conflict or an inner peace of mind:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Rest and sabbath is crucial to shalom.

God's love and shalom is not situation dependant. We can be held in God's love and shalom, even when our situation is difficult and remains so. This is mysterious.

Knowing that God wants shalom for us, can help us to understand that Jesus has compassion on all the parts of ourselves. He holds tenderly all our scattered pieces. All our brokenness. Shalom encompasses the physical and mental. Not just the spiritual. It extends to all creation.

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