Seek the Shalom of the City

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We are all bound together; whatever affects one of us affects all of us. We are one human family, brothers and sisters, children of one Father.

So no wonder that when African Americans are murdered in cold blood in Buffalo and when a teen shoots his grandmother and kills 14 others, we grieve, as we should.

God help us. God forgive us. We can’t keep doing this.

The Hebrew word “shalom” speaks of wholeness, peace, wellbeing, and human thriving. We need shalom.

Jeremiah, called the weeping prophet, wrote, “seek the shalom of the city for when it prospers, so will you.”

And we could add, and when shalom is absent, we all suffer. We are suffering.

It’s heartbreaking to grieve the loss of life. But, it’s grievous again to see politicians and our brothers and sisters use human tragedy as illustrations in social media to push an agenda.

Do we need change? Yes, we do. We must keep marching for reform.

We also need each other. It’s evil that births murder. It’s also evil that turns us against each other when we need the solace of human hugs the most.

It’s ironic that we see one evil and not the other when perhaps the second breeds the first.

Shalom is the weaving of love for God and love for neighbors woven into one.

Shalom won’t come without God, and shalom won’t come without love for one another—they go together. I see people love God while despising people of a different race or political persuasion. They say they don’t judge, but it sure looks and sounds like it.

I see people love people and leave out God, which will eventually dissolve into selfishness somewhere. Always.

Do we want the world to be different?

Seek the shalom of the city, and don’t let the darkness win.

I must start by looking in the mirror and in God’s word and address whatever is not love in me. Everything I write here I must say to myself and invite God to search my heart.

Then, in my still less than perfect state, I must offer shalom to my neighbor.

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