"Love is not a victory march." -Leonard Cohen

"shalom in the home"

Jesus came to bring peace.

In the english language we translate the hebrew word shalom into peace. But this translation loses so much of the meaning of the word. We think of peace as an absence of conflict, but I don't believe this is an accurate translation. I believe that Jesus came for more than an absence of conflict. I believe Jesus came to do more than just forgive our sins.

Now don't get me wrong here. We need the cross. We need what was done on the cross. We need the words, "it is finished". But we also need what was done off the cross. Jesus didn't just cancel out our sins and call it good. He did so much more than that. I desperately feel that we forget what happened off the cross. We forget that Jesus rose. We forget that Jesus brought healing. We forget that Jesus brought Life.

Friends. I believe that Jesus brought shalom. I believe that Jesus brought a peace that not only forgives our iniquities, but restores us. I believe that God calls us everyday to restoration. I believe that God is restoring me and you and your neighbor and these autumn trees. I believe that God is turning us back to what we were meant to be. I believe not in an absence of conflict, but the spring-time green of new life. I believe that you and I friend, are being restored this very moment.

A dear friend of mine, Quinn, is a wonderful and beautiful lady, full of life. One of her favorite words is shalom. Every now and again I hear her say this wonderful phrase, "Shalom in the home." And you know what. I believe it. I believe that through the grace of Christ, we can have homes filled with shalom. I believe our homes can be places of healing. Places of restoration. Places of life. I believe that even our homes are being restored. I believe that shalom is not just a state of being, but a process. A state of life. I believe in a life that is flooded to its deepest roots with shalom.

The sum

Last week, Josh Banner, our worship leader at Hope College talked about why liturgy is so essential to the church, and what it does for us as a body.

about the sum being greater than the sum of it's parts. that's what we are when we proclaim our beliefs together. that's what we become when we raise our voices in proclamation. that's what we are a part of. we are a part of something much greater than just ourselves.

because for a moment, when we raise our voices to proclaim, we are not as small as each of us. no. we are greater than all of us.

it is this incredible, miraculous, beautiful knowledge that affirms are minds and steadies our hearts.

yes. yes. yes we are apart of something so beautiful. wonderful. amazing. astounding. refreshing. renewing. unshakeable.

you could count up our cells and everything that makes us up. but you would not get a human being. because somewhere along the way, someone is breathing life. someone is breathing hope. someone is breathing abundance. the sum is so much greater than the sum of our parts.