The Shalom of Advent (Part 3)

My thoughts on Shalom have come full circle this Advent season. Shalom is the peace of God that only He can give even when things aren’t as they ought to be right now. We’ve talked about that when Jesus came as that tiny baby all those thousands of years ago, he came to bring peace between us and God, between each other here on earth and forever peace in the life to come.
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We get to experience a little taste of Shalom here on earth. It’s not hard to look around us and see that things don’t seem “right”. But, we can see glimpses of the peace that is to come if we look closely.
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It can be felt as we sit and look at Christmas lights shining in the darkness. It can be felt as we hold a sleeping child who is truly at rest. It can be felt when we selflessly do things for one another that puts others needs above our own. It can be felt as we sit in worship services Sunday after Sunday hearing His Word being preached and feeling His presence as we sing. It can be felt as we sit and watch waves crash at the ocean or stand atop the tallest peak in Colorado. These things don’t bring perfect, lasting peace, but they give us a taste of the peace that is to come. Jesus said, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33, ESV)
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On this earth, we have trouble and unrest is experienced. But, Advent reminds us that as we wait for Christmas to come in celebration of Jesus’ birth, we also wait for the next time Jesus will come. And, when he comes again, we will join him in the new heavens and in the new earth where everything will be made right, everything will be as it ought and true Shalom will be reached.
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“We will feast in the house of Zion.
We will sing with our hearts restored.
He has done great things, we will say together
We will feast and weep no more.

We will not be burned by the fire.
He is the Lord our God;
We are not consumed, by the flood;
Up-held, protected, gathered up.

In the dark of night, before the dawn,
My soul, be not afraid;
For the promised morning, oh how long?
Oh God of Jacob, be my strength.

Every vow we’ve broken and betrayed,
You are the Faithful one;
And from the garden to the grace,
Bind us together, bring SHALOM.” (Sandra McCracken, emphasis mine)

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