If you haven’t noticed already, it’s 2017. It’s been 2017 for a whole day now. Actually a day and a good couple of hours by the time this is posted (a day and a half maybe?). So far, so good I’d have to say. Nothing bad has happened. Of course, you could be pessimistic and say nothing good either. Some good things have come my way already. Like time with my kids on a day off. That’s always good.
Many said that 2016 was pretty much the year from hell. A lot of hard things happened to a lot of people both locally and globally. Many favorite and beloved celebrities passed away in 2016. To be honest (and not going to get into it here) I went through a lot this last year. It was tough to say the least. Not always good. Some good things. Some happy things. Some fun times, but also many struggles.
2016 was also a year of refugees and war. Alleppo in Syria saw mass destruction. It’s been a struggle for years (I wrote about it here back in 2013 that’s how long it’s been going). People saw hunger and pain in the States. There were mass protests about injustice with the system of different kinds here in the US. It seemed at times that the world was falling apart.
At the same time, there was a peace available to all that many sought and wanted. This peace wasn’t a peace that many would call peace. To so many peace is an absence of conflict, an absence of war. And to be honest, we need that type of peace to be sure. But there was a need for a greater peace. A peace that passes all understanding. A peace that guards our hearts and minds. A peace which says that things in this world aren’t the way they’re supposed ta be.
That type of peace is called shalom.
And this year, as last year, this same peace is available to all. New year, same shalom. Now this is where the spiritual part of Spiritual Musclehead comes in.
Jesus offers peace. A peace that goes beyond what we think of as an absence of conflict.
When Jesus’ disciples were worried, scared, and wondering what was going to happen next, He says to them:
“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
To be honest, we fear this type of peace at times. This type of peace means that we have to give up control of things. This type of peace means that we have to let go of our own wants and desires. This type of peace means that we have to give up our ideas of peace and accept Jesus’ definition of peace. And that can be frightening.
But new year, same shalom. The same peace, the same shalom Jesus offered all those years ago is still available today. In 2017 (feels weird just writing that actually).
The question is: Will you accept this peace? Will you live this peace? Will you allow this peace to drive you forward in giving out this peace to others?
We’ve been given the same shalom every year, every day, and we are to live this same shalom. We are to give away this same shalom. This is a peace that goes beyond all understanding. Will you let this peace guard your heart and mind this year? Will your 2017 be a year of shalom?