What is peace? The absence of conflict? The absence of worry? The absence of stress? The absence of problems?
Is it enough time? Enough money? Enough recognition? Enough love?
Can peace be defined as the absence of chaos?
Shalom is a Hebrew word for peace that permeates Old Testament Scripture. Shalom does not refer to an absence of chaos, but rather a deep sense of wholeness, contentment, harmony, and well-being despite chaos.
True peace is best displayed amidst trouble, pain, and turmoil. Shalom doesn’t make sense to the world. It cannot come from the world. It comes from an abiding faith in the Messiah.
In the gospel of John 14:27, Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.”
The peace of Jesus steadies us when life gets scary:
- the pink slip
- the announcement
- the new address
- the diagnosis
- the silence
- the accident
- the return address
- the divorce
- the casket
“Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken, nor my covenant of peace be removed says the LORD who has compassion on you.” Isaiah 54:10
I imagine it was this peace that steadied young Mary as she labored in a barn while the world outside judged her, or ignored her.
Tired from a long journey at 9 months, with an aching back, swollen feet, and a pain like she’d never known before. But she knew what the angel told her. She had found favor with God, and the LORD was with her.
So, she took a deep breath and heaved forth:
“Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)
She held Peace in her arms.
Because peace, in fact, doesn’t just come from Jesus. Peace IS Jesus, the Messiah!
In Ephesians 2:14, the apostle Paul reminds us, “For He Himself is our peace.”
Peace is not a feeling, it is the person of Jesus, the Messiah of Israel.
He is Shalom.