February 14, 2021

Wholeness

May the Lord give strength to his people! May the Lord bless his people with peace!
Psalm 29:11
We often refer to Israel as God's Chosen People. The Hebrew Bible is, of course, the record of God's covenant with them, and is concerned with Israel's well-being. The Israelites, being unique in all the world, were usually beset with threats and with actual warfare throughout their history. The advent of peace, therefore, was an especially strong promise in the minds of the people. And peace was not just the absence of war—it was also the presence of justice and righteousness. Shalom might, in fact, better be translated as wholeness.
That was Israel. But what about everybody else on earth? Well, even in the Hebrew Bible, we see that the promise was intended to spread from Israel to the rest of the world. And in the New Testament, we read about Jesus' outreach beyond the confines of his own ethnic group. In his death and resurrection, he reaches out to all people, inviting them to experience the same wholeness longed for in the old days by Israel alone. Christians are now more likely to call this wholeness salvation, but the message being proclaimed is the same: peace, justice, and righteousness. 

So he came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near.
 Ephesians 2:17
Prayer after thinking about today's devotion:
Thank you for inviting me to your Table, Lord. In your brokenness, may I know wholeness; and in your life outpoured may I feel abundance. As you have brought me near to God, may I share your good news with others.
✙ 
After your own thanksgivings & petitions, close with the Lord's Prayer.

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