It is a word that is hard to grasp the depth of its meaning. Many would say shalom means peace and it does but it means so much more. Many would say shalom means freedom and it does but it means so much more. Many would say shalom means health and it does but it means so much more.
Shalom appears some two hundred and fifty times in the Hebrew Scriptures and encompasses the vision for living the kind of life God intends for his children to live. This one word incorporates gratification, justice, liberation, hope, freedom, peace, well-being and fulfillment.
Every life has some degree of suffering and sorrow. Shalom, is about endowing an individual to deal with those moments while at the same time relaxing in the beauty and joy of the Creator. With the help of modern-day preachers that teach health-and-wealth, for many shalom has been reduced to a self-centered, individualistic concept of life focused on “having” all that one desires.
In the time of Jesus, the world was drastically divided up between the “haves” and the “have nots” or the “ins” and the “outs.” To many of that day the surprise was that Jesus came proclaiming that “shalom” was available to all. This threatened many but gave hope to others.
The revolution of the Kingdom is not a bloody, political one but instead a quiet, social and spiritual one. As I recently read, the revolution of the Kingdom “is to be a place of flourishing for the oppressed and marginalized rather than the realm of continual self-interest for the already privileged…It was the ordinary citizens of Israel that Jesus took his message of the in-breaking Kingdom with its accompanying promise that the shalom of God would be theirs.”
It is yours as well. “Shalom.”