Despite the trendy pursuit of peace and the all-encompassing happiness this world has to offer, we often find ourselves empty and starving for something greater. We find ourselves in this never-ending, toxic cycle of pursuit that leaves us wanting more and more. This can be found in our society today as everything is driven with the expectation for instant gratification. We see this through television, social media, video games, and the fast convenient pace with which we navigate our world. Often we don’t take time to stop and listen. We drown out our own emotions or feelings with the noise of comfort and passivity.
It is no question that our world is suffering and that things are not as they should be. The desire for a perfect and happy world has been the pursuit of society for generations. It is in this unsettled and anxious atmosphere that we as Christians enter into with the good news of true peace. It was in the garden where God met his creation. Specifically, his “very good” image bearers, namely mankind. Can you imagine what it would look like to walk in the garden with God? This pure community with the one who created the heavens and the earth describes this perfect peace our society strives so hard to achieve.
Last week we had the privilege to hear and learn from Doctor Del Tackett, creator of the Truth Project. Dr. Tackett took us on a journey to explore the Kingdom of God and what it looks like to live in his perfect world. It is through this journey that he introduced to us the word shalom.
shalom: completeness, soundness, welfare, peace // Hebrew: שָׁלוֹם Phonetic Spelling: (shaw-lome’)
The word shalom is often used to correlate with the idea of peace. However, when one thinks of peace, it is usually attributed to a feeling of contentment or comfort. The kind of peace that Del Tackett introduced is one this world cannot satisfy nor understand as well as is the only thing that can fully fulfill the vacancy this world feels. It was the moment that Eve ate the fruit in the garden that this perfect shalom was shattered. As humans we all have personally experienced this shattering of shalom in our personal lives. In tackling the conversation of abortion, to learning about different religions that reject truth, we have faced many challenging realities of the world we live in over the past two months of living at Impact. However, in order to appreciate and fully embrace the beauty of redemption and what it means to have access to shalom one must first come to terms with the brokenness of our sin and the weight of what this world holds without Christ.
Shalom is not a feeling but rather a perspective. Throughout this year we Fellows have and will continue to undergo much shaping and refining as God slowly builds in us a more eternal perspective on His kingdom. Despite our sinful ways and tendencies, Christ has asked us to lift our gaze heavenward. By dwelling on the saving good news of salvation one can find access to the shalom of community with God here on earth in the midst of worldly lies and pursuits.