Monday, November 7, 2011

Peace of Christ to You

In the evening of that first day of the week, the disciples were [gathered together] with the doors locked because of their fear of the Jews. Then Jesus came, stood among them, and said to them, "Peace to you!"

Jesus said to them again, "Peace to you!"

He Himself stood among them. He said to them,"Peace to you!"
(John 20:19,21; Luke 24:36, HCSB)

The notes in the study Bible I'm using this year pointed out that the greeting Jesus used in these resurrection appearances to His disciples was probably the same greeting Jews use today: Shalom alekem. This intrigued me, since shalom carries a slightly different weight of meaning than our English "peace."

According to The Nelson Study Bible notes, shalom "conveys the idea of completeness and well-being--of being a perfect whole" (p.682). Wholeness, well-being, completeness... so much more than just absence of conflict and distress (although the semantic range includes those elements, as well)...

Seven hundred years before the nativity of Christ, the prophet Isaiah predicted that Messiah would bring his people this shalom:
But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed (Isaiah 53:5, NIV1984).
On the night Jesus was betrayed, He promised His followers peace:
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid" (John 14:27, NIV1984). 
When He had been crucified and resurrected, He appeared to His frightened, demoralized disciples, and He spoke peace to them. Shalom.

Paul the converted rabbi extends this peace to all who have trusted in Jesus as their sin-bearer:
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand (Romans 5:1-2a, NIV1984).
Peace. Shalom. Wholeness, healing, reconciliation with God through the blood of the Lamb. Such a simple greeting, isn't it? "Peace to you." Yet how much power in that brief prayer. Dear Crumbles, this is my prayer for you on this grey November Monday. Peace to you. The peace of Christ to you. Shalom, friends.

I'm still counting with the community at Ann's, numbering the ways God says He loves me:
~peace in Christ
~finishing this year's reading of the Gospels... not wanting it to end
~Jewish evangelism focus for DTS missions week messages and our Sunday sermon
~Isaiah 53 fulfilled in Yeshua our Messiah
~this Irish-Italian Texan being grafted into Israel's tree
~the beauty of faithful suffering
~Christian witness on the local evening news
~finding surprises to brighten someone's tough week
~receiving a surprise myself, a gift of Indian ghee candy from one of Allen's co-workers I've never even met

~praying for friends and readers
~Disqus comment conversations
~affirming text message and comment just checking to see how I was doing and blessing me
~seeing my sister sing professionally
~the glorious music of Bach
~double date with my parents
~trying to cheer him up, even when it doesn't work
~puppy-dog eyes

~monarch migration

Butterfly photos by A. Moore

~the mallard fathers, so sober in their clerical collars, gathered for morning prayer with their tweed-clad wives

~Gandalf the Grey

~Galadriel (great white heron) in flight
~new birds in the neighborhood

~trees with henna highlights
~Ebony Special Agent Hoover successfully driving the nefarious Dr. Miao's "muscle" out of the yard. Or at least up the fence.

~honeycrisp apples in season
(#2094-2118 on the gratitude list)


  1. Wow...what a reminder! Judas. And Jesus still showed him love. You posted some very lovely photos today! I know how much work that is! Have a blessed week.

  2. What a GLORIOUS list and post!! I LOVE YOUR BEAUTIFUL HEART SO MUCH!!!! Peace to you, my sweet sister!

  3. You are right: Jesus did show Judas love, washing his feet, sharing Passover bread, calling him friend. I think Judas had already left the gathering when this promise of peace was given, but I'd have to double check to be sure. Thank you so much for your visit and kind words. Can I just say your user name is wonderful? May your week be full of grace as well.

  4. I love you back, Anne! Your comments never fail to encourage, and I notice you giving the same edification and grace at other blogs, too. So glad Brandee introduced us. Thank you as always...

  5. That bird DOES look like Gandalf! Shalom back to you, Christina...

  6. Shalom...well we have something in common...I am mostly Italian with some irish thrown in for excitement...
    Lovely pictures...

  7. Peace to you, my friend. What fullness here. Reading this explanation of peace is helpful and reminds me of the joy in the New Testament when you've read the Old—such a deeper understanding. Enjoyed your gratitude as well. Fascinating candy, beautiful photos, and the monarchs! I miss them here, but I'm happy to picture them near you now. Blessings the true peace of Christ in all its beautiful depth to you.

  8. Shalom to you! Thanks for sharing your Bible insights. And your bird commentary! I love "~the mallard fathers, so sober in their clerical collars, gathered for morning prayer with their tweed-clad wives"!

  9. Oh, I don't know where to begin. I love your thanks; I love your pictures; I love how you glorify the Father with your life.

    Shalom to you too, friend!

  10. So lovely, dear one. Your gratitude is evident in every word. Bach makes me do dates and peace in Christ. Love to you this week...

  11. Excitement... yes, that's one word for it. (Smiling) Thank you for the kind words.

  12. Great minds think alike, and so do ours. :)

  13. Thank you for all this. I love the whole of Scripture, but yes, we need the Old to understand. Peace to you, too.

  14. Thank you, Sylvia. (Do you think I spent a wee bit too much time in the Hundred Acre Wood and Beatrix Potter as a child?) Shalom to you, too.

  15. You are too kind. Shalom to you also, Lisa!

  16. Thank you, dear Shannon. Love to you as well.

  17. No. Is that possible? I don't think so. But then...

  18. I had no idea the depth of that one word...shalom. So beautiful and full of hope. We so easily lose the meaning in words we use often. But maybe once we've lived them, really really lived them--we won't lose the meaning. Now that I've known Grace, whenever I speak it to others ("Grace to you") I truly mean it--God's unmerited favor, forgiveness, acceptance, love raining down--I am praying it all for the one I am speaking it to. Oh that we would rediscover the true meaning of all these treasure-words that have their beginning and end in the One Who writes us all into His Glory. Thank you, as always, for opening His Word to me. Grace to you!

  19. A girl after my own heart! Thank you, dear one, for your contribution to the conversation. Grace and peace, way down deep in your spirit, to you today in Jesus.

  20. Thank you for the teaching on "shalom"... a completeness, not just an absence of conflict. So much depth in that one word!
    I love the photos-- the monarchs, your description of the birds... and esp. Gandalf the Grey made me smile. I want to just bite into those honey crisp apples! :)
    Love to you.

  21. Thanks for stopping by, Anna, and for appreciating the photos. That's play for me, naming things and trying to capture beauty with my little camera. Love and prayers to you, too. And shalom!


Thank you for sharing your day with me! Your presence here is a gift. *You* are a gift. Right now I am unable to reply to every comment, but please know I read and pray for each and every commenter. Grace and peace to you in Christ.