Shalom is a Semitic word meaning “peace” or “wellbeing.” Variants are used throughout this part of the world as a hello and/or good-bye greeting. In Scripture, the concept of shalom includes:
- wholeness, intactness, safety (Gen 44:17; 2 Sam 17:3)
- prosperity, success (Isa 48:18)
- ease, unaffectedness, calm, freedom from worry (Gen 37:4)
- worthiness of confidence (Ps 41:10)
- health (2 Kings 10:13)
- peace between people (Josh 9:15)
- kindness (Ps 28:3)
“Saint Irenaeus’ . . . famous declaration—Gloria Dei vivens homo—proclaimed that the glory of God is men and women who are fully alive, fully human. This was a high point in the Christian understanding of the importance of being human, a point so removed from the center of contemporary Christianity that it might almost sound heretical. . . . Is it even conceivable that wholeness, not simply holiness, honors God?”*
What does being deeply human and fully alive mean to you?
Read John 10:7–15. How does Jesus define fully alive (v. 10)? What are some wolves that could steal shalom from you? How has Jesus countered those lies (vs. 9, 11, 14)?
*David G. Benner, Soulful Spirituality: Becoming Fully Alive and Deeply Human (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Brazos, 2011), 7.