At the centre of a Jesus-focused hope is shalom. It burns at its core like nuclear fusion burns at the heart of the sun. Shalom is the vision of the ‘Cosmic Visionary’. It is a popular Hebrew greeting whose four consonants have hidden within them the cipher to the secrete of the universe.
Shalom is usually translated ‘peace’, but a better word would be ‘wholeness’. The noun is created from the verb shalem–‘to make something complete’. It communicates the idea of ‘intactness’, ‘integratedness’, ‘harmony’; it is ‘everything fitting perfectly together’, like an orchestra with its array of strings, woodwind, brass and percussion, each instrument distinctive yet together creating true symphony. Shalom is holistic in the fullest sense of that word.
Shalom is God’s single most important gift to humanity and creation; there is nothing God has to give that is not found within it. It is God’s goal; the direction in which everything within the cosmos is heading (Num 6:24-26).
“Of God’s all embracing kingdom and of God’s shalom there shall be no end. (Isa 9:7)
Jesus’ goal was to inaugurate the ‘kingdom of God’ (Mt 4:23; 9:35; Lk 8:1; Mk 1:14-15); God’s purpose is to establish shalom–they are identical.
From “Fingerprints of Fire…Footprints of Peace,” by Noel Moules.
Do you find this vision attractive? What questions does it raise? How would you add to this account?
In future posts we will expand on this introduction, adding nuance and complexity. And our community page will host open conversations for further comments and reflections which might go beyond commenting below.