The absence of conflict?
When the last bullet has been fired and all weapons have been laid down?
We hear about ‘peace talks’ and see images of important looking people shaking firm hands with sincere faces.
Last week I wrote about the word ‘Hope’ for the first of four themes for the four Sundays of Advent: Hope, Peace, Love and Joy.
A word that I’m sure you’ve heard when talking about peace is the beautiful word ‘shalom.’ The word is closely related to ‘shalam’ in Hebrew, which is a verb that can be translated as ‘making it good,’ or even ‘to restore.’
The ancient meaning of the word ‘shalam’ seems to be ‘to make something whole.’
As much as I love the thought of ‘world peace,’ did you ever consider that a concept of that magnitude might start introspectively?
Besides peace as an absence of conflict or violence, true shalom is when we continue to grow into who we were created to be.
“We should treat each experience like a sculptor with his chisels, carving until, to paraphrase Michelangelo, we set free the angel in the marble.”—Ryan Holiday in The Daily Stoic
Shalom is both the privilege as well as responsibility to continue to help bring restoration, wholeness, completion to God’s creation in a myriad of ways.
True peace, I believe, is not a concept, but the Presence of a Person who continues to restore, make whole, create!
During Advent we await the Prince of Peace. His Presence has made it possible to see all of his Creation restored to be what it was once intended to be.
We see glimpses of it now, but we’re still waiting to see the fullness of this wholeness as he continues to create and make whole.
And that is why Advent is not just the waiting for Christmas alone. We await a better day. We await the Prince of Peace. Holistic wholeness. Holiness. Shalom.
Tomorrow morning we will light the second of four candles of Advent and meditate on the word Shalom with our family. Will you join us?
Comment below for any reflections.