A Culture of Peacemaking and Reconciliation

Special Preamble on "Shalom"

Since the fall of Adam mankind has craved Shalom (2 Corinthians 5:16-20). Shalom is defined as completeness, wholeness, health, peace, welfare, safety, soundness, tranquility, prosperity, perfectness, fullness, rest, and harmony, the absence of agitation or discord. Shalom begins in the reconciliation work of Christ (Ephesians 1:7-14) and continues with reconciliation between those who believe (Matt 18:15-20) and with those who do not (Hebrews 12:14). Jesus in preparing His disciples for His bodily departure bolstered their devotion by leaving and giving them His Shalom (John 14:27). It was the very thing they longed for and would need in order to do the things Christ did.

The term “peacemaking” gives us the impression of two differing opinions or sides whom now “get along.” The concept of Shalom is much different. While Peacemaking is man-centered Shalom is God-centered. Peacemaking is about arbitration or flexing of opinions. Shalom is about mirroring God’s image and character. The focus of Shalom is Jesus not rules and guidelines. Peacemaking is about what’s right. Shalom is about what is righteous.

Biblical Basis

In Ephesians 2:14-18 Paul defines Jesus as our Peace. In Matthew 11:28-30 Christ says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” This light burden refers to the Ten Commandments which were summed up in just two statements, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37&39). It is those who live in shalom who mirror the image of Christ. Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called the sons of God” (Matthew 5:9).