“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” (Matthew 5:9)
Breaking news: there is not much peace in our world right now. While I hope you are experiencing inner peace and peace with God, that is not really the kind of peace I am talking about.
I mean literal peace, between us and them. Peace with our family and friends. Peace with our neighbor. Peace with our coworkers. Peace with people across the border. Peace with our enemies.
The Bible refers to this kind of existence as shalom. Shalom is peace for the individual (wholeness, health, security, well-being, and salvation) but applies to relationships as well (person to person, nation to nation and between God and people).
Shalom is given by God. It is a gift of relationship and obedience to Him. It is part of his character and as his people, should be a dominating characteristic of us.
Jesus is the ultimate revelation of shalom. The apostle Paul says, “For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility … ” (Ephesians 2:14) Jesus not only provides a path to peace with God, but he invites us into God’s family, adopting us as children of God.
By following Jesus into this new way of being, he lives in us and by the power of the Holy Spirit we are being transformed into Christ’s likeness.
Therefore, Christians and the church are a revelation of shalom. The result in our lives and relationships should be more peace. I am not sure people outside the church think shalom when they look at us right now.
Jesus calls us to pray for peace, ask for peace, receive peace, be blessed by peace, and then he tells us to give it away. Jesus says, go and make peace. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” Leading up to Easter at the Salida Vineyard, we are exploring what it looks like to be peacemakers. What would Salida and the rest of the world look like if the church lives up to this expectation of Jesus? I think it would look a lot different and we would be able to say, the Kingdom of God is near, come and join us in shalom.
Jason Smith is the senior pastor at Salida Vineyard Church.