one striving for God's reign to come to earth, bringing his peace, wholeness, completeness, and health to all aspects of life.

More thoughts on Donald Miller; thoughts on Shalom

So this blog is founded on my passion for being a part of the mission of God as I understand it: to bring wholeness and healing to all aspects of human life, and even to the earth itself--to make things right.  I believe God calls us to partner with him to accomplish his biggest task, the one he's most passionate about, redeeming humanity from our sin and rebellion.  Shalom, in case you didn't know, is a Hebrew word found throughout the Hebrew Bible, what we call the Old Testament as Christians.  It is a very large idea, but at its core it means wholeness, completeness, health, equilibrium.  The way things were supposed to be.  It has come to be equated with peace.  At least this is how I understand this huge word/concept.  An example of this can be seen in a prophecy from Ezekiel about the coming of the New Jerusalem: "I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them; and I will bless them and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary among them forevermore." (Ez. 37:26).  This everlasting peace is Shalom.  

Anyway, I have come to believe that it's the role of every Christian to join this vast mission of God to restore his Shalom to this broken world, particularly in redeeming lost humanity through the sacrifice of Jesus.  It's our job to help people find the way to Christ, the narrow way.  Beyond that, bringing God's reign to earth means restoring our lives and our world to what they were intended to be in every way.  We ought to be about fixing the broken pieces of our world in the name of Jesus; this is what I mean by being a "Shalomer."  

Anyway, all of this came up in the few chapters of Donald Miller I read tonight.  He was talking about how we as humans are always looking for something to complete us.  Most of us are looking for that perfect person, our soul mate, to fill us and finish us.  Once we find that love, we'll never be the same.  Our longings will be fulfilled.  Then we find out that is not the case.  We still feel as empty as we did before, even after we are married.  He went on to talk about how in Christian circles we have talked for a long time about how Jesus fills that hole in our hearts that only he can fill.  He comes into our hearts and makes everything better.  But then he challenged that whole notion, saying that he follows Jesus and believes he will make everything right, but not here and not now.  The holes in our hearts, our deepest longings, our feelings of incompleteness and inadequacy, will never be quenched until the end, until the feast and the wedding, until the culmination of all things in heaven.  

This really hit me and I believe it is true.  I long for that day.  I long to see the face of Jesus.  I long to know fully that it's all okay, that everything is better, that the pain of this world is gone.  I long to be hugged by my Maker, for it all to make sense.  But I am so appreciative for the reminder that no matter how hard we work to bring God's Kingdom, no matter if we give our lives to God's mission, no matter how we long to restore Shalom and redeem humanity, things will not be perfect on earth.  True Shalom will not come until that New Jerusalem, when things are set right once and for all.  

Still, while we long for that day we live in this day, and we live in it fully.  We give our lives for the Kingdom, for the sake of Christ, for the redemption of our fellow broken humans.  Because that's what Jesus did, and that's what he has called us to.  While we long for the feast in heaven, we remain fully present in our broken world, loving people to Jesus...  

May we remember this day that nothing and no one can fix all the broken pieces of our lives and hearts.  Jesus can redeem us, but even in him the scars will remain.  But may we also remember that God is calling us to bring his Kingdom and healing to the earth this day, to the people around us, even through our broken hearts.


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