It’s hard to talk of peace these days. We are at war with ourselves, our families, our nation, and our planet. We pray for peace, act for peace, and even fight for peace. Whatever sensibilities we claimed to have had regarding peace appears to have vanished. So is the absence of peace – my perception or reality?
I can make a list of the violent events and episodes just within my daily travels. I can nourish my worldview with images of war through social media accounts and professional media reports. I can search my heart and my intimate conversations and find numerous battles in which I hurl words that can obliterate the reputations of people close to me. We are at war.
Our wars – both corporate and personal – had clearer boundaries. Boundaries are what wars are about – not oil, nationalism, and prejudice. People groups have defended territory since the beginning. Adam and Eve broke clear boundaries their Creator had set. Armies have trampled across boundaries for centuries. With the technology of today, we take to the air and ignore boundaries 360 degrees from horizon to horizon.
I’m left wondering if our being at war is so common that we have become numb to its impact.
This week in our Biblical account of Jesus we encounter his encouraging and commanding words – PEACE BE WITH YOU. Peace, best realized as the embodiment of SHALOM, be with us – all who can hear and read. Since it – this Shalom – is with us, perhaps we should consider sharing it. By sharing true Shalom, perhaps it could become contagious and infect others. Perhaps then, the Shalom that is with them can be released…a cascade of Shalom.
Yes, this may sound naïve. So simple – it may just work… JOHN 20:19-23 19 That Sunday evening the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! “Peace be with you,” he said. 20 As he spoke, he showed them the wounds in his hands and his side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord! 21 Again he said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.”
Being at war gives opportunity to engage in the conflict itself. In fact, I believe we can’t avoid it – Jesus didn’t. So go…engage and bring Shalom where its needed most in your life.