Shalom... what a beautiful word, what a magnificent blessing.
In most of the world “Shalom” is translated into the word “peace.” And peace is conceived as the absence of strife or war.
I am sota a child of the 1960’s. What a complicated, horrendous, wonderful decade that was. The Viet Nam War, a very unpopular war. The Cold War. Flower children. Music that had meaning. Political strife. The search for inner harmony. Free love. The 1960’s was a decade of searching and finding, tranquility and strife, loss and confusion. Many here did not experience the 1960’s. It was long before you were born. But what a decade that was!
The “watchwords” of the 1960’s were “peace” and “love.” And they both had many different meanings and applications. I have spoken about love elsewhere. Let’s focus on peace today. Shalom.
In Israel, Shalom is the common word of greeting and parting, much like “Aloha” is in Hawaii. Shalom is spoken as a blessing, not simply a word like “hi” or “what’s up.” At its root, in the Hebrew, Shalom means completeness or wholeness. And it specifically speaks to our relationship with God. When we have Shalom, we have a complete, wholesome relationship with God. We have an inner peace or tranquility found through that relationship. And what God wants is to have a relationship with us. Shalom.
To have Shalom does not mean that all will be nice and easy in our lives. That is not the way life works, at least not in our temporal, human existence. Our lives are full of uncertainty, turmoil and even strife. That is human existence. Shalom.
And we have war. We have the brutal fighting wars between peoples and nations. There is so very much war in today’s world. War in Syria. War in Afghanistan. Wars in Africa. The war on drugs. The war on terror. Personal wars against addiction. There’s a whole bunch of war going on. We are all involved in one sort of war or another… or many! Shalom.
As Christians, we are also warriors in a war against evil. We cannot function as Christians without being involved in this war, even if it is only at the very personal level. Evil surrounds us. Evil pervades our society and dangles itself before us constantly. And evil can be very seductive and intensely appealing. Evil beckons us and our children and loved ones. Shalom.
Wholeness, wholesomeness in our relationship with God. Inner peace and tranquility. Shalom. This is what gives us the strength and the direction to fight evil. Without Shalom, we become frazzled, confused, ineffective in our various struggles and wars. We cannot fight a righteous fight without Shalom. Complete Shalom is the prefect, complete relationship with God.
So, can we have Shalom and still be at war? To be victorious and righteous, we must!
Alive in The Word
p.s.: I close my blogs and correspondence with “Shalom.” this blog explains why.
It is my wish for you.
It is my prayer for you.
It is my blessing on you.