"More than the absence of violence, shalom is the presence of wholeness.” Ps Josh Kelsey

SHALOM // Mike Maitlen

I can’t think of anything more juxtaposed to the concept of shalom than the presence of violence and death, as witnessed this last week in Paris and Beirut. Yet somehow, in the midst of tragic events, shalom is offered to us.

We mourn with those who mourn, with heavy hearts. We discuss and ponder and weep that events so evil can occur in this world. We post, update and Instagram with the world to show our support and outrage. Then, in the still moments, when we have nothing left to say or give, we humbly accept this foreign but familiar shalom; “for He himself is our peace” [Ephesians 2:14]. 

One day we will be made whole. 

One day violence will cease, and love will prevail. 

One day there will be unity on earth. 

One day there will be complete unity in the church. 

One day all will be as it was intended. 

But until then, He’s given us peace through the love and sacrifice of His son. He Himself is our peace. As Pastor Josh said on Sunday, “There is no peace without love. The sacrifice of Christ and His love brings peace into our lives despite circumstance.”

Despite our circumstance, let’s spread the peace of Christ, which was so freely given for all humankind. And in that peace, let there be unity. In our lives. In our church. In our relationships, workplaces, in the earth. Let us accept the beatitude as a mandate: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will inherit the earth.” 

So we pray for Paris, Beirut, and the innocent lives taken much too soon. 

But most of all, we pray for peace in the hearts of all mankind, for He is our peace.