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Day 21 NOURISHMENT | Peace

The word “peace” comes from the original Latin word “pax,” a pact or agreement to end war or conflict. Throughout human history, peace has essentially meant the absence of war. Despite the fact that we are not in a physical war within the United States, would anyone describe our country as peaceful?
The Hebrew understanding of peace is much bigger than that and is rooted in the word “shalom.” Lisa Sharon Harper, in The Very Good Gospel, reveals that the word “shalom” (in its 5 different forms) is used 550 times in the Bible. And shalom in God's world is all about relationships.
Harper writes, “The peace of self is dependent upon the peace of the other. God created the world in a web of relationships that overflowed with forceful goodness. These relationships are far-reaching: between humanity and God, between humanity and self, between genders, between humanity and the rest of creation, within families, between ethnic groups or races, and between nations. These relationships were “very good” in the beginning. One word characterized them all: shalom. Then the story of the Fall (see Genesis 3) explains how the relationships were broken. The rest of Scripture takes us on a journey toward redemption and restoration. Shalom is the stuff of the Kingdom. It’s what the Kingdom of God looks like in context. It’s what citizenship in the Kingdom of God requires and what the Kingdom promises to those who choose God and God’s ways to peace.”
More than that, when God’s kingdom at last comes in fullness, peace will reign. It is a great mystery, but for now, in loving wisdom, and in keeping with fulfilling God’s purposes in humanity, God allows us to hate, despise and harm one another on personal and societal levels.
Someday, deep in the fullness of Christ, we will not even be able to fathom harming another or causing discord. Our bent will be fully toward living out the peace brought to us by God in Christ.
In the meantime, we work (and rest) toward a peace “on earth as it is in heaven.” Bishop Todd Hunter, The Center’s founder, says, “As we gently work our way to stillness of soul, tranquility of heart, lightness of disposition, and peace of mind, we continually become human as God intended—lovers who will the good of the diverse persons with whom we interact.” When your inner life is peaceful, you desire peace and goodness for all God made.
Practicing intentional rest or Sabbath can be a powerful tool in pursuing the peace God offers. Sabbathed lives teach us to say no to the “culture of doing” through unplugging, seeking solitude, and learning to appreciate silence. When we receive the invitation to pause and rest, we have more emotional, relational, and spiritual energy, and we feel less overwhelmed and depleted. 
In place of the word "rest," William Tyndale's early translation of the Bible has Jesus saying, "I will ease you." The idea is that we are relieved. Relieved from the duty we have felt to remain in charge and alleviate the pain and disorientation caused by the stressors and injustices of life. To be at ease includes being rescued from trouble, bother and difficulty—the nervous, uptight way we do life. Those at ease still do good work—a lot of it. But they move at a new, graceful pace.

Formed well to love well