The peace spoken of here is the venerable Hebrew word “shalom,” the opposite of which is not violence and war but brokenness. It is the peace God offers our world, and it is quite different than the mere absence of war. Shalom is about the healing of personal, political, social, and economic brokenness. The Hebrew sages used the word deliberately in their proverbs, knowing its meaning, its promise, and its Source.
Jesus, the agent of God’s wisdom (1 Cor. 1:24), also knew its Source, and he called any and all to become agents of shalom. Day after day Jesus modeled the paths of shalom and taught the ornery crowds how to follow his lead. It’s quite amazing, really. They were being shown how to put it into practice in the here and now. They were to become agents of shalom amid the rough and tumble pluralism of Palestine – despite their religious and ideological differences.
Jesus never said, “Wait until heaven.” He never said that you first had to become a Sadducee or a Pharisee or a Roman citizen, or even a Jew or a Christian, before you could help heal the brokenness. You just needed God’s wisdom.
Prayer: May your wisdom, O Lord, increasingly flourish among us. And may you daily guide me in those paths.
©2014 by Charles Strohmer
Image by Rob Stalnaker (permission via Creative Commons)