Happy New Year!
Some people choose a scripture verse or one keyword as a focus for the coming year. That’s my tribe. My word for 2020 is “shalom”.
Shalom is what I’ll be sharing over the next twelve months. I’ll write about shalom, speak about it, and embody it. I’ve written it on the first page of my 2020 journal. More significantly, I’ve embedded in the fabric of my soul.
Shalom is rich in meaning, deep in effect and broad in application. You can’t go wrong in applying “shalom” to your life.
Shalom is a Hebrew word meaning peace, harmony, wholeness, completeness, prosperity, welfare, and tranquility. In Israel, I discovered it is used idiomatically to mean both hello and goodbye.
Shalom experienced is multidimensional, complete well-being — physical, psychological, social, and spiritual; it flows from all of one’s relationships being put right —with God, within oneself, and with others.
I told you shalom is a rich word.
The Hebraic greeting, “Shalom alechem” means “may you be well”.
Shalom binds all of life together. Isaac Arama, a Jewish philosopher in the 15th century, paraphrased this idea by saying:
“Peace is a positive thing, the essential means by which men of differing temperaments and opinions can work together for the common good. Pearls of individual virtue would be dim in isolation were it not for the string of peace that binds them together and so increases their lustre. That is why peace is a name of God for it is He who gives unity to the whole of creation.”
Where does shalom come from? How can I get shalom?
God creates shalom. Receive shalom as a gift from God. Jesus said, “I give you peace (shalom)” (John 14:7). The gospel of Jesus is the “gospel of peace” (Ephesians 6:15). Jesus is the prince of shalom (Isaiah 9:6). When you have Jesus, you have shalom. Live in shalom’s richness by surrendering to and obeying Jesus. When you trust and obey Jesus you have shalom.
2020 will find me ramping up efforts in reducing the stigma and raising awareness around mental health. On Wednesday January 29th I’ll be co-hosting the Bell Let’s Talk Day in Edmonton with Vahen King of “Going Farther”. We are going to promote shalom. The event relies heavily on community, conversation and engagement. If you’re in the Edmonton area please plan to attend. Purchase tickets here.
To have shalom is to know you’re going to be OK.
My wish for you in 2020 is Shalom alechem.
Robert (Bob) W. Jones is a recovering perfectionist, who collects Coca-Cola memorabilia and drinks Iced Tea. His office walls are adorned with his sons’ framed football jerseys, and his library shelves, with soul food. He writes to inspire people to be real, grow an authentic faith in Jesus, enjoy healthy relationships and discover their life purpose.
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