In case you haven’t noticed, I might be a little obsessed with The Bible Project resources. But they are ohhhh soooo good. I’ve been listening to their podcast during my commute and was just talking to a friend about an ah-ha moment I had during one of their podcasts when they were talking about peace (I can’t remember which one I’ve listened to so many).
I just watched their second video in their Advent series on Peace (you can sign up for their newsletter here). It is a bit of a paradigm shift from what I thought the definition was of “peace” in the bible.
The concept of peace, or shalom, is not necessarily to be without conflict, but it is a longing for things to be made complete – to be made right again – for the broken to be made whole.
As The Bible Project puts it:
The core idea is that life is complex, full of moving parts and relationships and situations, and when any of these is out of alignment or missing, your shalom breaks down. Life is no longer whole; it needs to be restored.
To lack peace and search for it is a longing for God’s restorative work. It is the seed He planted within our spirit to point us to Him. It is the transcendent prayer I don’t realize I’m praying as I ask for my marriage to be reconciled.
To bring shalom literally means to make complete or restore….[to} take what’s missing, and…restore it to wholeness….In the book of Proverbs, to reconcile and heal a broken relationship is to bring shalom.
It is what the writers of the Old Testament point to in the reign of the kings and the prophecies of the prophets:
So the prophet Isaiah, he looked forward to a future king a prince of shalom. And his reign would bring shalom with no end–a time when God would make a covenant of shalom with his people and make right all wrongs and heal all that’s been broken.
It was found in the work of Christ and documented in the New Testament.
The Apostles claimed that Jesus made peace between messed up humans and God when he died and rose from the dead. The idea is that he restored to wholeness the broken relationship between humans and their Creator.
Isn’t this why our nation looks and demands a President that brings justice, compassion, and mercy?
For a someone to right all the wrongs?
The world is searching for a remedy that already exists in Christ and it is our job as believers to point them there.
And this means that Jesus’s followers are now called to create peace…which requires humility and patience and bearing with others in love….So peace takes a lot of work because it’s not just the absence of conflict. True peace requires taking what’s broken and restoring it to wholeness, whether it’s in our lives, our relationships, or in our world.