What is Shalom?
Shalom is a Hebrew term that is rich in history and meaning. In its simplest form, it means peace, prosperity, harmony, wholeness, completeness, tranquility and welfare. However, in the Old Testament it assumed an interconnectedness between people, nature, and God.
In the book Not the Way It’s Supposed to Be: A Breviary of Sin, author Cornelius Plantinga described the Old Testament concept of 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.
This notion of Shalom is holistic. It captures the imagination. Imagine living your life and watching your family and friends live a FLOURISHING life! A life where all creation worked together to help meet each others natural needs and fully utilize their natural gifts. Imagine a world where we took delight in each others successes and spurred our fellow human to live their best life. A world where sabbath was the norm and not the exception. A world where rest and play is celebrated more than work and productivity.
God’s Shalom. This is what I am pursuing. Every day I want to delight in the world around me. Drinking in the beauty that is God’s creation. Inspired by the diversity of gifts He’s given. I want to delight in the things He delights in. Even in the midst of a broken, hurting world. I want to see the wonder in the midst of the pain.
Won’t you join me in my pursuit of Shalom?