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W.I.S.H. – Weekly Insights for Spiritual Health 12-22-2021

Read:  Isaiah 9:6

For a child has been born for us, a son given to us;
authority rests upon his shoulders;
and he is named Wonderful Counselor, 
Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

In Isaiah’s prophecy the Messiah will be called the “Prince of Peace”.  The word in the Bible that is translated as “peace” is actually “Shalom”, and it means more that peace.  Shalom is about wholeness, and health, and harmony – as well as peace.  You do not have to look long before you see examples of how lacking “shalom” is in our culture.  We are broken.  In a state of brokenness some seek to break others, to share their pain, and shame, and even hate. “Hurt people, hurt people”.

Some wonder if it’s a sign of the “end times”;  I don’t think so.  As a student of history it is not hard to find examples in every decade of history, and on every continent, of conflict, hatred, injustice, and violence.  When people talk about the “good old days” I know it may have been good for the one reminiscing, but it was not good for everyone, and we would never want to relive those days if we had to trade places with those who were denied rights, victimized, terrorized, and the object of hatred.  It’s easy to glamorize cruising the boulevard in a ’57 Chevy; it’s hard to imagine that in 1957 black people couldn’t buy a home in a “white” community, eat at a white restaurant, drink at a white water fountain, use a white bathroom, were required to give up their seat to a white person on the bus, and couldn’t attend a white school.

Shalom points toward a different vision of who we were created by God to be.  Shalom is the result of the manifestation of the Kingdom of God.  Yes, we are broken and sin can distort truth, and blur hope, and increase the fractures and brokenness of humanity.  But the Prince of Peace is about creating shalom, in our lives, in our families, in our communities, and in our culture.  Shalom is about healing not about wounding.  Shalom is about blessings, and blessedness, not about cursing and wounding.  Shalom is about helping to make the world a better place for future generations, because we understand that to be God’s will.  Shalom is about honoring God’s will and being committed to living our life in ways that honor God and help create an expression of the Kingdom of God in the here and now.  Jesus has always been willing to help us do that, we just haven’t always been willing to follow His lead.  He was, and is, and will always be the Prince of Shalom.

Shalom,

Pastor Rob Nystrom