Sitting on my bookshelf is a sign containing one word: Shalom. While the word is printed in Hebrew, it’s one of the few Hebrew words many of us recognize. Shalom is used to mean many things: hello, goodbye, peace. I bought the sign to remind myself about being peace in this world, and on some days it works. Other days, I fall short of my expectations.
However, maybe peace isn’t only about being quiet, gentle, and at one with the world. Jesus wasn’t always sweet and relaxed. Remember the money-changers’ tables in the temple? And yet, Jesus is the Prince of Peace.
Fredrick Buechner writes, “The contradiction is resolved when you realize that for Jesus peace seems to have meant not the absence of struggle, but the presence of love.”
On many days I do fall short of being like Jesus. I’ve got a lot more to learn about love and peace. But if I try to love more, maybe I can bring a smidgen more peacefulness to the world around me. Maybe if we all work on it, we can increase the peace exponentially.
This message was adapted from “Increasing Peace” written by Deborah K. Farrington that first appeared in the April 2008 issue of Lutheran Woman Today (now Gather) magazine.