Giving Shalom: Advent Day 15

For to us a child is born,
   to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
   and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
   Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and of peace
   there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
   to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
   from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this. (Isaiah 9:6–7 ESV)

When Barry Jones talked about Jesus as a “shalom-maker” at Triennial this past summer, he said the word shalom is often translated in our Bibles as peace, though a better translation would be “everything being the way that God intended it to be. Wholeness. Harmony. Flourishing.”

The thing about true shalom is that there is nothing we can do in and of ourselves to achieve it in our own lives or give it to others. Ever since Genesis 3, humanity has been living in a state of broken shalom. All that we can do is heed the word of the Lord through Jeremiah to the Israelite captives in Babylon: “Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare” (Jeremiah 29:7). As we follow the way of Jesus, the Prince of Peace—Prince of Shalom—we will find ourselves seeking the welfare, or shalom, of our communities, allowing God to give a measure of shalom through us.

In this week’s video, hear the story of a group that embraced this idea of seeking shalom by partnering with a residential child care facility. After you watch the above video, look for ways today and throughout this season that you can seek the shalom of God in your life and in your city.