God’s promise of shalom in a crisis

Shalom

“Shalom” in Hebrew

Jeremiah 29:11 ranks high on the list of favorite Old Testament scriptures. As much as we love it, do we really understand how much it promises? “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (NIV)

“Prosper” translates the Hebrew word shalom, a word (a noun, by the way) so rich it has no good English equivalent. It usually appears in English translations as “peace.” In fact, many English translations of Jeremiah 29:11 say, “plans for peace” or something similar.… Read the rest

What does peace look like?

Peace rally

We all want peace. I’m sure we all really do. But what does it look like?

For as long as anyone living can remember, America has been either at war or in serious rivalry with other country.

Our government has also operated a long-running Middle East peace process. Is there peace there?

Bumper stickers proclaim “Give peace a chance,” and “War is not the answer.”

I well remember the unpopular war in Vietnam and attended peace rallies to protest it.

What was peace like there? People would take turns shouting angry slogans into a microphone. Occasionally, in the name of peace, some people threw bricks through windows or even burned down buildings.… Read the rest