Advent Peace: Like a River

Shalom.

We often settle for a simple definition of that common Hebrew word taking its definition of peace. Peace for many would be the absence of conflict. For our persecuted brothers and sisters, peace would be not just the absence of conflict but also the cessation of hostility toward them, the restoration of their livelihood, their residence, their ability to worship without threat, or even, their lives. Peace takes many forms and numerous connotations and שָׁלוֹם encompasses them all. Shalom is not simply the absence of strife, it is an expression of being complete in your well being. There is peace in our physical and psychological security and then there is the shalom of God in which we are at peace spiritually.

Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other. (Ps 85:10)

This week of our joyful season of advent is a reminder of the peace that we through our binding faith in Jesus. He is our promised restoration of the shalom, the Prince of Peace. Though we may continue to sense the un-peace of the world, our faith lies not in this place but in the new Heavens and Earth over which our Lord will reign and once again, all will be righted.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (John 14:27)

God promises peace like a river, a shalom like the crashing waves:

For this is what the Lord says: I will extend peace to her like a river, and the wealth of nations like a flooding stream; you will nurse and be carried on her arm and dandled on her knees. As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you; (Isaiah 66:12-13)

river The anticipation of this Peace is the center of our prayers this week. We shall pray for it to wash over us, to crash mightily on top of us and to carry us toward the promise of the kingdom of God.

Maranatha!