Our society is in a season of weeping and wailing and gnashing its teeth at God. He’s mightily fallen out of favor because of His perfection, His ownership of absolute truth, His being so audacious as to declare that even His love is irreproachable! Wiggle room? Nope. Open to private interpretation? Nope. Subject to the vote of the vociferous, sometimes violent, minority? Not that either. He’s an impregnable wall! Immovable! And perhaps more maddening of all to the hordes frothing at the mouth, He remains in unperturbable Shalom, that all-inclusive Hebrew word which speaks of wholeness or completeness of health and happiness.

The English translation of ‘Shalom,’ ‘peace,’ is often of a lesser sense, used to describe something positive, but far from 100% anything. We have synonyms, too, that are liberally sprinkled throughout daily discussions. Words like: awesome/brilliant/super/ideal, and in the lingo of Teen Challenge guys back in the day, da bomb/phat, and in New England speak, wicked! (as in a wicked good steak). Here, too, cultural inroads notwithstanding, Shalom, in its original sense, shines like a beacon for all eternity. Pastor/Author Frederick Buechner helps us understand it this way: “ . . . for Jesus, peace seems to have meant not the absence of struggle, but the presence of love.” This is Advent, when we celebrate the arrival of Him Who is Love Incarnate, Emmanuel, the Prince of Peace. Our theme for this second Sunday of Advent is ‘Peace’ (gratefully, the one in accordance with what God first intended for us to know and live in).

Tomorrow, we’ll look at the fifth letter Jesus dictated, the one to the church in Sardis (Revelation 3:1-6). It’s the purest, leap-for-joy, letter so far! If a moment presents itself you might want to check it out. You might even be surprised by what you read. See y’all then, 10 AM, 3 PM UK, 4 PM, FR.  Can’t wait!  PD

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