Dear pastors, missionaries, chaplains and friends,
Steve Jones here… Last summer Marilyn and I visited a little antique shop in Lisbon, Portugal. I purchased an 18th century French bronze plaque with a sculpted relief of Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus. It’s beautiful.
It reminded me of the “mezuzah” attached to the door frames of many conservative and orthodox Jews. In Israel I notice them everywhere. A mezuzah fulfills the “mitzvah”, or Biblical commandment to inscribe the words of the Shema on the doorposts of your house (Deut. 6:9).
Christians have scripture plaques on their walls… frequently at the entrance of their home. So I put my new bronze plaque near my front door to remind me upon entering and exiting my home that I go with God’s peace. Quaint, eh?
First time I visited Israel, I noticed people greeting one another saying, “Shalom”. They shared the same blessing when they departed; again it was, “Shalom”.
The Meaning Behind the Meaning of Shalom
The Hebrew word “Shalom” is translated 170 times in our English Bible as “peace”.
I find it ironic that people in Israel, arguably one of the most hostile places on the planet, would greet one another with “peace”. The word “Shalom” basically means that something is “whole”, in the sense that it is “complete”.
And so, one could conclude that a fundamental idea behind the greeting “Shalom” is a reminder of our relationship to God and being wholly devoted to Him.
Shalom means to be in “right relationship with God” before you start your day and exit your home. To be at peace with God. To live in Shalom is to live a life of contentment, free of guilt and experiencing abundance.
A NEW YEAR PRAYER
As we enter 2017 together, may you and your family experience “Shalom”. My prayer is that we will know God’s peace, peace with God, the peace of God, and the peace that is beyond understanding.
May this peace be a foundation, rooting us deeply, wholly devoted to the Lord in 2017. Acknowledge God’s peace daily, often — with family and friends. Consider nailing a portion of God’s word to your front door frame to remind you of God’s protection, provision, and peace. My hope is thankfulness will blossom from our acknowledgement of God’s Shalom.
Each year I pick a theme verse for our Fellowship of churches. In 2017, I’ve chosen a verse reminding us to be grateful… to be thankful. Colossians 2:7 (ESV) reminds us:
“Rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.”
May this verse help to bring you peace.
Have a blessed week,
Steve’s weekly emails are available in a printable version to download.