When you hear the word ‘shalom’, perhaps the image of peace on earth from an old-style Christmas card comes to mind. Yet ‘shalom’ means so much more. It captures the idea of humanity being at peace with God, at peace with ourselves and at peace with those around us – as well as actively pursuing these ends. The outcome shalom is whole and flourishing joy. As we seek to express the Kingdom of God in our midst, we give practical legs to facilitate shalom, and we can gain great joy from the outcome.
- What images does the word ‘shalom’ bring to your mind?
- Read Galatians 5:22-23. What might the fruit of joy and peace look like in our own lives? How might they be connected? What might we do to better enable these to be evident in us?
- Read John 10:10. How do you see shalom in this verse? What can impact this peace?
- If we are willing to look, we will quickly see injustice all around us. How do you respond when you see suffering of others, or an injustice close to you? How do you feel about some of the big issues today such as indigenous mistreatment, asylum seekers and domestic abuse?
- 1% of the world’s population holds 50% of the world’s wealth, while 1.3 billion people live in poverty. What is one way that we can make a small difference to this reality in our own lives? What can we change in the way that we currently live to make a small difference in this area?
- What one issue gives you a sense of indignation that really makes you feel like something needs to change? What is God saying to you about this specific issue today?
We all have opportunities to make a difference in the world in which we live. We can all ‘shalomitise’ – that is, be a catalyst to bring peace into our world. We can be an avenue for others to experience the Kingdom of God breaking into the darkness. What is one area in your world to which you could help bring a small piece of shalom today? What is one step that you can commit to taking in this direction right now?