Today during the sermon, the pastor was talking about the way Shalom was used in ancient times. We are all familiar with shalom as a greeting of hello, goodbye, and peace with you, but Shalom was much more of a heart felt greeting, meaning peace (shalom) with you and peace (shalom) from all of my wholeness to all of your wholeness, peace to build you up even if it costs me my shalom. I really like that greeting especially the ancient authencity that seems to surround it.
The Israelites were a people who had to self contain their culture and had such a drive to protect it. I can see how that was such a deep, personal greeting for them. I was reflecting about how Mark and I are like that, and we live that out to each other on a daily basis. It is seen very evidently in our business where I work to help him, and he works harder so I don't have to work as much. Last week was a great example of Mark pouring his Shalom into my life. The sermon continues as I revel in the awesome relationship I have with Mark and how much we love each other. Mush, Mush, Mush.
Then I trip right there in my thoughts. The pastor then made a paralell on how we as Christian are to pour our Shalom into other people. And that's not just sweet Christian jargon to help us go out of our way to ask someone a brief "Hey how are you?" greeting in passing then feeling good for reaching out for the week. I was still OK, though as I think about a few people God has put in my life that I "minister" to. He kept going. He took the verse from Jeremiah 29. You are probably thinking what I was - oh, Jeremiah 29, the verse about God having good plans for our future "I know the plans I have for you...." Not that one, one above it.
Jeremiah 29:7. The word welfare means shalom in the greek. Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile. And pray to the Lord on it's behalf; for in it's welfare you will have welfare.
I am to pour my wholeness, my peace, my shalom into people outside of my culture. I was doing just fine in the confines of my family, church, and homeschool group.