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Shauna Archer /Monday, March 7, 2022

 

The season of Lent is upon us and it should move us to reflect deeply on the mission of God in the world today and how we should be living as people who long to see His mission fulfilled.

Conversations with friends and family recently have highlighted the deep need we have for peace with the global pandemic, racial violence, political divisions, poverty, conflict, and strife affecting all the corners of our world. These things hold a vicious grip on people’s minds and hearts and give us, as followers of Jesus, an incredible opportunity to live in a way that is counter to the frantic culture around us.

Shalom

This year during Lent, while we fast and contemplate in preparation for all that Easter means to us, perhaps prayers for peace or shalom should top our list. In the Bible, shalom can be translated not only as peace, but also as tranquility, security, well-being, health, welfare, completeness, and safety. That’s a long list of beautiful conditions we should want for our families and communities!

In Israel, shalom is both a greeting and a farewell. When used as a greeting, shalom is a form of hopeful blessing asking for God’s perfect peace and well-being, for health, prosperity, and peace of mind. Shalom denotes fullness and perfection, an overflowing joy that moves from your innermost being and is expressed in the way one lives and engages with others.

3 Questions

Considering all that shalom entails, I’m asking myself some hard questions this season.

  • How would the mission of God move forward in this chaotic world if I lived with the enduring belief that all people, not just those that look like me or worship like me, are created “in the image and likeness of God”?
  • How do these words, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives” from the Prince of Peace, motivate me to live in such an inviting and compelling way that lost people are drawn to Him who “is our peace”?
  • How do I show others that the external circumstances in the world today will never touch the peace of God given to guard my heart and mind? Do I want this same peace for those far from God?

This Lent, let us make our way to shalom — a gift that will point seeking hearts to the full measure of peace that is truly beyond all human comprehension and the One who gave it through His death and resurrection.


Shauna Archer serves at the Saskatchewan/Manitoba Regional Coordinator for Simply Mobilizing Canada and is the Pastor of Family and Discipleship at Living Hope Alliance Church in Regina, Sask. Married to Tim and mom to two adult children, she enjoys hosting dinner parties, spending time at the cottage, and enjoying new foods. Her prayer is that God’s saving power would be known among people groups everywhere (Ps 67:1-2).



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