Back at the Lutheran church this morning. It’s been a while. Good to be back – the space was just right.
The time after, although short, was also just right as a breath – exhaling the delights and dips of the weeks, and inhaling simple friendship that quietly says, “I don’t know either. We carry on in this holding pattern. Continue asking our questions.”
Perhaps Shalom in “life as we find it presently” looks like this too, and I am just coming to a new understanding. Perhaps this is a way of knowing that darkness doesn’t overcome this Light that stays with us. (John 1)
“Isaiah paints in stirring metaphor and image the potent Hebrew concept of Shalom. We translate this word as “peace” in English, but this misses far too much. … Shalom is closer to human flourishing. It is God’s gift of peace, but it is also God’s enacting of good news, God’s offering of well-being in such a way that we are able to hold it, to take it in, and taste it—like the great wedding feast Jesus uses to describe what it looks like to be gathered together in God’s care and comfort. Shalom is beauty for ashes and comfort for the grieving. It is not an abstract, inaccessible picture of life as it could be or life simply as it will be one day. It is not an escape vehicle from the harsh realities of life. Surely God’s promise of shalom involves dimensions beyond time as we know it. But the Hebrew word Shalom very profoundly aims at the flourishing of bodies and souls and life as we find it presently, dark though it is. Beauty and comfort and release and gladness and joy are indeed proclaimed, but it all comes as the promise of a God who is somehow present in the midst of Israel’s complicated, difficult, dark and beautiful realities. … The promise of God’s shalom is not a thin attempt to distract us from our own darkness or a flimsy pat on the back for the profound brokenness of the world. It is not an image campaign to make us feel better, but the unexpected gift of one who, somehow, can hold it all.” – RZIM
This Life I Live (Emu Music)
As surely as the dawn will come
it was for me he died
my hands drove in the nails
my selfishness, my pride.
And though my heart is black with sin
the morning light breaks through
and hope has been reborn
for mercy comes anew
as surely as the dawn
As Surely As the Dawn (Emu Music)