Shalom is the stuff of the Kingdom. It’s what the Kingdom of God looks like in context. It’s what citizenship in the Kingdom of God requires and what the Kingdom promises to those who choose God and God’s ways to peace.
• Lisa Sharon Harper
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On Sundays in Easter, we will hear from Lisa Sharon Harper about The Very Good Gospel: How Everything Wrong Can Be Made Right. Her book is about the fullness of the good news that Jesus lived, died, rose again, and ascended into heaven to give us. Harper tells us that this good news is about shalom, the opposite of what she calls our commonly “thin” understanding of the gospel.
Today, a quote from chapter one. Here are three points she will flesh out in the rest of the book.
2. Shalom is what the Kingdom of God smells like. It’s what the Kingdom looks like and what Jesus requires of the Kingdom’s citizens. It’s when everyone has enough. It’s when families are healed. It’s when shame is renounced and inner freedom is laid hold of. It’s when human dignity, bestowed by the image of God in all humanity, is cultivated, protected, and served in families, faith communities, and schools and through public policy. Shalom is when the capacity to lead is recognized in every human being and when nations join together to protect the environment.
3. At its heart, the biblical concept of shalom is about God’s vision for the emphatic goodness of all relationships. In his book Peace, Walter Brueggemann wrote, “The vision of wholeness, which is the supreme will of the biblical God, is the outgrowth of a covenant of shalom (see Ezekiel 34: 25), in which persons are bound not only to God but to one another in a caring, sharing, rejoicing community with none to make them afraid.”