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Shalom, Y'all!

Shalom.  It’s a word that I’ve heard a good bit, but never really understood.  I’ve seen my parish priest end his weekly letter in the church bulletin with it.  I know that it is a Jewish greeting and farewell, I think.  But I don’t really understand what it means or how to use it.


I’ve been reading a lot more lately, and in a recent read an author talked about Shalom meaning “well being.”  That made sense to me and it sort of peaked my interest in the significance behind this strange-to-me-word.


A few weeks later, I was reading a different book that had nothing to do with the first one I mentioned, and the author said something about Shalom that made me take a step back.  He said that Shalom is the state of the Earth when God created it and called it "good.”  It’s the essence of the garden of Eden.  He went on to say that since the fall of Adam and Eve, we humans, have been searching for Shalom.  It’s the thing that we know is missing from our lives and do our best to find… but won’t on this side of Heaven.


What?!  That’s a BIG definition for a single word.


I started a Google search of all the things I could find about the meaning of Shalom.   I also remembered hearing “Shabbat Shalom” on “The Chosen” so I included it in my search as well.  What I found is so rich!


When Shalom is used as a greeting or as a farewell what is being said is, “I wish you good health,” or “I desire that you have wholeness (sound mind, sound health, sound being.)”  What a beautiful prayer to start and end each meeting we have with friends, family, and neighbor!


A few weeks ago, during his homily, a priest was speaking on community and mentioned that we all need each other to get into Heaven.  He said that if one of us doesn’t make it, none of us do because we are all responsible for helping each other become saints.  I’m paraphrasing here, but this is the gist of it.  I think what he was getting at was more about judgement of each other verses actually helping each other find Shalom – well-being, the wholeness of Eden. 


If we spend our time judging someone’s character or choices instead of helping them make better ones, we are not wishing them well-being or even helping them find wholeness in Christ, and we at that point are not whole or working our way to sainthood.


Shabbat is the term used for the Jewish day of rest, that sabbath day.  It is an opportunity to strengthen trust in God by allowing Him to handle all of the necessities of life on the day of rest, but as human instinct can sometimes take over, we sometimes forget this and try to do everything ourselves, which doesn’t allow much room for peace and rest.


This is where Shalom comes in. Shalom helps us to shift our focus from having to get everything done to developing a sense of restoration and wholeness within ourselves knowing that whatever task wasn’t accomplished in the previous week will in some way be attended to by the Lord. 

All things happen in His timing, and we need trust Him while paying attention to our health, well-being, and wholeness.  Shabbat Shalom!


Spend some time in review of the past week. What are the things that you won’t let Christ handle for you?  Were there any moments in the past week or more that you put yourself in control of instead of allowing the Holy Spirit to guide and move through you? 


Seeking shalom can help you repair those missteps.  Spend time intently offering up those things to the Lord, asking for His help, and then move out of the way and let Him take care of it. 


Afterall, we are in His hands.  He is not in ours. 


Are there conversations that you need to revisit?  Feelings or friendships that need repair? Have the conversations, apologize for the things said without the help of the Holy Spirit… even if they were well-intentioned.  Repair those relationships as much as you can, because we are all seeking to be in Heaven together. 


Together is what we were made for.  Together is where we ultimately want to end up.  Together makes this life here outside of Eden doable.


Shabbat Shalom, everybody! (even if it’s not the sabbath when you are reading this)


Wishing you Love and Light!



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