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 (NKJV)
Holidays for many can be anything but peaceful. Family dynamics, travel, people jockeying for first chair, you name it. In the English language, we mainly define peace as “anti-fighting,” but the biblical word for peace is Shalom, which is also defined as “wholeness” and “well-being.” (HarperCollins Bible Dictionary)
When the angels appeared to the shepherds in the field, they proclaimed “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” (Luke 2:14) They weren’t just declaring peace from the oppression the Jews were facing, they were claiming the wholeness and well-being God promised in sending His son, who is the Prince of Peace.
I have a picture hanging in my house that says: “Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.” Jesus came into the world with the promise of peace declared by angels, and he left the world with the promise of peace from the Holy Spirit. I don’t need each day to be all powder and sunshine to feel God’s peace, because I know it lives in me.
In the words that have been spoken since the 60’s from a book with the same name: Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me. Let’s show God’s Shalom this season in all we do.
- How can you incorporate God’s Shalom during the holidays? (that doesn’t include mitigating dinner-table arguments)…
- Read Luke 2. Think about the ways that God has promised us His Peace through Jesus.
By Jessica Downing | Salida, CO