“Shalom I leave with you, my shalom I give to you,
Not as the world gives do I give it to you.”
Shalom embodies the Biblical vision of creation in which all are one, all reality is in harmony and unity and there is wellbeing for every creature. We are not only bound to God but to one another in a caring and just community in which there is no reason for fear. Shalom is generally translated as peace, but in Hebrew there are no one-word translations rather, every word has shades and depths of meaning. Thus, shalom implies completeness, order, fullness, harmony, tranquility, health, prosperity, wholeness and the absence of discord. This is the shalom Jesus wished for his disciples.
Lord, make me a channel of your peace
Within the sphere of my own life I will try to live the vision of shalom
The disciples of Jesus recounted what had taken place along the way,
and how they had come to recognize him in the breaking of bread.
While they were still speaking about this,
he stood in their midst and said to them,
But they were startled and terrified
and thought that they were seeing a ghost.
Then he said to them, “Why are you troubled?
And why do questions arise in your hearts?
Shalom is understood to mean peace, but peace is only one part of the word’s real meaning. The root shalem means completeness.
Shalom is the webbing together of God, humans, and all creation in justice, fulfillment, and delight…. We call it peace, but it means far more than mere peace of mind or cease-fire among enemies. In the Bible shalom means universal flourishing, wholeness, and delight.
Cornelius Plantinga Jr
Shalom [the Hebrew word for “peace”] means the end of war and conflict, but it also means friendship, contentment, security, and health; prosperity, abundance, tranquility, harmony with nature, and even salvation. And it means these things for everyone, not only a select few. Shalom is ultimately a blessing, a gift from God. It is not a human endeavor. It applies to the state of the individual, but also to relationships – among people, nations, and between God and man. Beyond this, shalom is intimately tied to justice, because it is the enjoyment or celebration of human relationships which have been made right.