Saturday, May 7, 2016

Easter 42 Shalom

This week, I've been thinking about silence and sounds our relationship to resurrection, but what I've really been poking around is peace.

What we really need to get at is shalom.

We see in the New Testament many greetings of peace. Being that most of these people greeting one another this way were Jewish, I think it's safe to say they were greeting each other with shalom. This greeting found its way into Christian liturgy as the "kiss of peace" which in my American context is slightly watered down to a handshake and a sometimes awkward "peace be with you." (Or else and explosion of hugs and greetings that are not what the liturgical moment is all about, but I digress.)

It's how Jesus says goodbye to his disciples in John's account of the Last Supper. It's also how Jesus greets his followers when he appears to them after his resurrection.

Shalom, like many words we have to translate, has broader implications than just feeling peaceful. It's a blessing of general well-being, comfort. It is a blessing of harmony, comfort, wholeness, harmony.

And probably more. When we say "peace be with you," it's a blessing saying, "I hope all good things for you."

And so, as we move into the last week of this "discipline of celebration," I say to you:

May the shalom of God, which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Shalom! Christ is risen! Alleluia!

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