What is it that our hearts and our world long for the most? Arguably peace or Shalom would top our list. In this 2nd week of Advent, we considered what the word Shalom means and some of its implications. While the word peace is often the translation for Shalom, the original Hebrew word has much greater depth. It incorporates elements of harmony with nature, our relationships with others, and most importantly our relationship with God. Our grade 2 class defined it this way, “It’s living the way that God intended it to be and in the way that’s best.”
We also juxtaposed this with the Hebrew term, “Tohu Vavohu,” which is translated as “chaos,” “lack of order,” “emptiness,” and “confusion.” In Genesis 1, it is the description of the world prior to God speaking life and order into it. Other Old Testament passages also use this word to describe a state of emptiness when God is not there or in control. It is the antithesis of what is present in Shalom.
We can recognize this tension in our world, as dark forces pull towards chaos and leave us empty. Meanwhile, we have an invitation from God to pull us back towards Shalom and wholeness. This message is particularly clear when we hear the words of the prophet Isaiah, “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 (Shalom).”
This is the invitation that God leaves on the doorstep of our hearts. When we open His letter, we see the gift of Shalom found in Jesus and begin to experience the life that God has intended for us, which is the very best way to live. Our prayer is that you experience His Shalom this Christmas season and that you pass it along to the others that God places on your path.
J-D Lussier, Principal