Sermon quotes on shalom
Dan B. Allender
We’re in the presence of a good story when the flaw that shatters shalom is also the doorway to redemption… Whether it be our own flaw or the sin of others, God uses the raw material of sin to create the edifice of his redeemed glory. The point cannot be overemphasized: your plight is also your redemption. The Bible assumes that its stories are also our story… We are Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Their stories are a paradigm of our own. Each of us is called, redeemed, and exiled – again and again.”
Dan B. Allender
Shalom is shattered by sin, by the intrusion of a lie, a distortion of the truth that mars the pleasure of being naked, transparent, trusting and true.
Shalom is a persistent vision of joy, well-being, harmony, and prosperity, many dimensions and subtle nuances: love, loyalty, grace, salvation, justice, blessing, righteousness.” [Shalom is] the freight of a dream of God that resists all our tendencies to division, hostility, fear, drivenness, and misery.
Living toward a Vision: Biblical Reflections on Shalom, United Church Press, 1984, p.15.
Lisa Sharon Harper
Shalom is what the kingdom of God smells like.
The Very Good Gospel (Colorado Springs, CO: WaterBrook, 2016), p.14.
Shalom is turbocharged peace, full-spectrum peace, peace amplified. It involves the transformation of the personal, social and structural dimensions of life. Shalom includes human flourishing in all dimensions of life.
Taken from Peace Catalysts: Resolving Conflict in Our Families, Organizations, and Communities by Rick Love Copyright (c) 2014 p.24 by Rick Love. Published by InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL. www.ivpress.com
Shalom is the breadth, depth, climate, and smell of the kingdom of God. It’s a counter-story, with nothing missing and nothing lost for everyone who reads it. We become peacemakers when we, through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, catch glimpses of shalom, and pull our friends to stand in our line of vision so that they too can see the beauty of the kingdom. Shalom is what happens when the love of God meets our most tender places. Therefore, we can all be peacemakers, because we can all seek and access the love of God to heal our broken places.
Peace is fierce—it has to be, because violence and discord won’t go down without a fight.
None of us can be made whole till we are made whole together.
The Household of God: Lectures on the Nature of the Church (Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2008), 147.
[The fall is the] vandalism of shalom.
Not the Way it’s Supposed to Be: A Breviary of Sin, Eerdmans, 1996.
Cornelius Plantinga Jr
The webbing together of God, humans, and all creation in justice, fulfillment, and delight is what the Hebrew prophets call shalom. We call it peace, but it means far more than mere peace of mind or a cease-fire between enemies. In the Bible, shalom means universal flourishing, wholeness, and delight. . . . Shalom, in other words, is the way things ought to be.
Not the Way It’s Supposed to Be: A Breviary of Sin, Eerdmans.
In the Bible, shalom means universal flourishing, wholeness, and delight–a rich state of affairs in which natural needs are satisfied and natural gifts fruitfully employed, a state of affairs that inspires joyful wonder as its Creator and Savior opens doors and welcomes the creatures in whom he delights. Shalom, in other words, is the way things ought to be.
To speak of sin without grace is to minimize the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the fruit of the Spirit, and the hope of shalom.
There is no peace in Southern Africa. There is no peace because there is no justice. There can be no real peace and security until there be first justice enjoyed by all the inhabitants of that beautiful land. The Bible knows nothing about peace without justice, for that would be crying “peace, peace, where there is no peace”. God’s Shalom, peace, involves inevitably righteousness, justice, wholeness, fullness of life, participation in decision-making, goodness, laughter, joy, compassion, sharing and reconciliation.
Nobel Lecture in Oslo, Norway, December 11, 1984.
But the peace which is shalom is not merely the absence of hostility, not merely being in right relationship. Shalom at its highest is enjoyment in one’s relationships…A nation may be at peace with all of its neighbors and yet be miserable in poverty. To dwell in shalom is to enjoy living before God, to enjoy living in one’s physical surroundings, to enjoy living with one’s fellows, to enjoy life with oneself.
Until Justice and Peace Embrace (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1987), 69–70.
In shalom, each person enjoys justice, enjoys his or her rights. There is no shalom without justice. But shalom goes beyond justice. Shalom is the human being dwelling at peace in all his or her relationships.
Randy S. Woodley
Shalom is meant to be both personal (emphasizing our relationships with others) and structural (replacing systems where shalom has been broken or which produce broken shalom, such as war-or greed-driven economic systems). In shalom, the old structures and systems are replaced with new structures and new systems.
Shalom envisions the full prosperity of a people of God living under the covenant of God’s demanding care and compassionate rule. In the prophetic vision, peace such as this comes hand in hand with justice. Without justice, there can be no real peace, and without peace, no real justice. Indeed, only in a social world full of a peace grounded in justice can there come the full expression of joy and celebration.
Missional Church: A Vision for the Sending of the Church in North America, The Gospel and Our Culture Series (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1998), loc. 92–93, Kindle.
God created the world to be a fabric, for everything to be woven together and interdependent. “How Biblical Shalom Resembles a Beautiful Fabric,” Preaching Today.
Shalom is the human being dwelling at peace in all his or her relationships with God, with self, with fellows, with nature…. But the peace which is shalom is not merely the absence of hostility, not merely being in right relationship. Shalom at its highest is enjoyment in one’s relationships…. Shalom in the first place incorporates right, harmonious relationships to God and delight in service…. Secondly, shalom incorporates right harmonious relationships to other human beings and delight in human community…. thirdly, shalom incorporates right, harmonious relationships to nature and delight in our physical surroundings…. Justice, the enjoyment of one’s rights, is indispensable to shalom. [Therefore] justice is wounded when shalom is absent.
Until Justice and Peace Embrace (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdman’s Publishing, 1983), 69–71.
We used to hate and destroy one another and refused to associate with people of another race or country. Now, because of Christ, we live together with such people and pray for our enemies.
“A Love without Condition,” History of the Early Church (blog),
C. Christopher Smith And John Pattison
Just as Jesus is the embodiment of the shalom that God intends for creation, the church’s role in the drama of Creation is likewise to be the embodiment of God’s shalom, albeit in a form that hasn’t yet been fully realized.
All peoples are equally created and tasked to shape their communities toward shalom.
Defiant: What the Women of Exodus Teach Us about Freedom, Eerdmans, 2020.
Craig L. Nessan
The concept of shalom resonates with vision of an ideal society in other cultures as well, notably in Asia and Africa. In Asia, sangsaeng is an ancient concept “of sharing community and economy together.” In Africa, the concepts of ubuntu and ujamaa describe respectively the wholeness of life and life in community.
Ubuntu involves the sharing of life as a gift from God: “The individual’s identity is inseparable from identity within the wider community, which includes past, present, and future generations, as well as flora and fauna, the physical environment and the spiritual realm.” Ujamaa extends this idea by emphasizing the values of family and relatedness. In each of these concepts the focus is on “life-giving civilization which affirms relationships, co-existence, harmony with creation, and solidarity with those who struggle for justice.”
Shalom Church: The Body of Christ as Ministering Community, Fortress Press, 2010.