“Shalom to you now — shalom my friends...
Singing those words together each week as a congregation makes our HEARTS sing as well as our voices!!
When we worship in the sanctuary, folks are sometimes seen holding hands or singing arm in arm, enhancing the intimacy of the friendship which the words proclaim…
A Hebrew word, “SHALOM” signifies: peace... harmony... wholeness... prosperity... welfare... tranquillity... Interestingly, it can be used for ALL parts of speech - noun, adjective, adverb and interjection! It can be used as a greeting OR as a farewell. A common Hebrew expression of “hello” is “shalom alechem” — “well-being be upon you.”
Jesus often used a variation of this when he said “ Peace be upon you...”
Cornelius Plantinga in his book NOT THE WAY IT’S SUPPOSED TO BE describes it beautifully:
“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 — a rich state of affairs in which natural needs are satisfied and natural gifts fruitfully employed, a state of affairs that inspires JOYFUL WONDER… SHALOM, in other words — is the WAY THINGS OUGHT TO BE.“ When we sing, we sing it once for those around us and then again for those beyond our walls. This Sunday, as you sing along at the close of worship, send out your words into our world as a special prayer that PEACE may reign among all peoples everywhere!