Formation Fridays: Give Peace A Chance
We are familiar with the placards promoting nonviolence and a tranquil global existence. “Give peace a chance.” “There is no path to peace, peace IS the path.” “Peaceful resolution is the best solution.” Yet, I wonder, have we reduced our visions of peace to catchy slogans and crafted banners?
I’m not saying there is something wrong with promoting peace or peaceful protests, but do we truly know how to define peace? Do we know peace?
Peace is often something I think of attaining, even in my personal life, but is peace a commodity to be procured?
One of the continual overarching themes embedded in the biblical narrative is a vision of peace, as can be seen from creation to the cross and everywhere in between. The Hebrew shalom and Greek eirene peace words appear over 500 times in scripture. Shalom is a very dynamic word full of many aspects, according to Strong’s concordance, completeness, wholeness, fullness, rest, harmony, and the absence of agitation or discord.
In addition to a vision, scripture also points to a source of peace. That source is God. A fruit of the spirit is peace. (Gal 5:22) Jesus is the “Prince of Peace” (Is 9:6), Paul encourages us to “let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace.” (Col 3:15 NLT)
Christ is our shalom and Christ calls us to live out shalom in this world. As Randy Woodley explains in Shalom and the Community of Creation,
“Shalom is the very concept needed in order to understand God and to make sense of the Christ who died for the world. When humans begin to understand shalom, God’s power will begin working through them. Jesus, the shalom Christ who brings a shalom kingdom, is God’s final answer to a broken and fragmented world.”
My friends, may you know Christ, know peace, and carry out his peace into your relationships, community, work, and world.