The Heart of Pastoral Care 22 The LORD said to Moses, 23 “Tell Aaron and his sons, ‘This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them: 24 “The LORD bless you and keep you; 25 the LORD make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; 26 the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace. (Shalom)” 27 “So they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.” The New International Version. 2011 Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. In the Old Testament Shalom, the most prominent OT term for “peace,” held a wide range of connotations (wholeness, health, security, well-being, and salvation) and could apply to an equally wide range of contexts: the state of the individual (Ps 37:37; Prv 3:2; Is 32:17), the relationship of person to person (Gn 34:21; Jos 9:15) or nation to nation (e.g., absence of conflict— Dt 2:26; Jos 10:21; 1 Kgs 5:12; Ps 122:6– 7), and the relationship of God and people (Ps 85:8; Jer 16:5). Elwell, W. A., & Comfort, P. W. (2001). Tyndale Bible dictionary. Tyndale reference library (1004). Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers. To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be his holy people: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Εἰρήνη (eirene): a state of freedom from anxiety and inner turmoil—‘peace, freedom from worry.’ Louw, J. P., & Nida, E. A. (1996). Vol. 1: Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament: Based on semantic domains (electronic ed. of the 2nd edition.) (314). New York: United Bible Societies. Shalom, therefore is a state of being where everything is as it should be, as it was created to be. Nothing broken, nothing missing, completely whole, in perfect harmony, etc… Further, it means unity and harmony among differing parts. If you'll recall, Yeshua (Jesus) is called Sar shalom, Prince of Peace, which perfectly describes the ministry and personality of our Messiah (Isaiah 9:6). As we participate in the ministry of Jesus, we, like Him become an agent of Shalom. At its most basic level, it means avoiding harm to others. At its most intentional level, it means doing what Jesus does. The first thing Jesus does is leave Glory and descended into our chaos and darkness. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! Being an “agent of Shalom means that other’s darkness will likely pierce us as well… God’s way of dealing with evil seems to be allowing it to pierce. This piercing ironically is how evil is neutralized. Evil’s intent to destroy becomes transformed into the capacity for freedom. Moreover, its important to note that light always pierces darkness. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. …but the crowds learned about it and followed him. He welcomed them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed healing. Consider what the writer to the Hebrews said: “There remains then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God.” (Hebrews 4:9). The writer goes on to say: “for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from His.” (Hebrews 4:10). The key to entering God’s rest is not to cease from all activity. The key is to cease from labor that has its beginning point with us. We rest from our works. Until we do this, we have not entered into God’s rest and are subject to being influenced by a religious spirit. Consider Jesus invitation: “Come to Me, all you who are heavyladen, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” Matthew 11:28-30 1. Pressures of life ◦ Relationships ◦ Finances ◦ Work, school 2. Other voices than God’s ◦ World, Flesh, Devil “Un-Comanded Works (see Eph. 2:10) ◦ Doing this can actually lead to disobedience. We are too tired to hear or do what God has made us for. Yeshua’s Example ◦ “I only do what the Father is doing” (John 5:14) We have lived the Christian life like it’s a struggle. Its not meant to be a struggle. Its meant to be a rest. We enter that rest when we learn to live as Jesus lived: from the life of Another within us and out through us. This does not mean that you won’t have fluctuations in your thoughts and feelings. It does mean that deep within you, you’ll be at rest. Tree of Life God’s Rest Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil System of “Righteousness” The Tyranny of the Should and Oughts.