In the book Not the Way It’s Supposed to Be, author Cornelius Plantinga described the Old Testament concept of shalom:
"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...the way things ought to be".
Ultimately, when Jesus returns, we believe these things will happen:
- The lion will lay down with the lamb - creation will be at peace.
- He will wipe away every tear from our eye
- He will right every wrong.
This is what it means for God's Kingdom to come.
Still, in Mark 1:15, Jesus says that "the time has come, the Kingdom is at hand".
The greek work for time in this passage, "kairos", means "an event" has happened.
Jesus is saying the Kingdom is NOW!
And we know the Kingdom is NOT YET fully here. Just take a look at hurricane Sandy...
Darrell W. Johnson teaches us in the book Fifty-Seven Words That Change The World, that the Kingdom of God is both already here, and still to come. It's like this:
Jesus proved it's possible for heaven to break in on earth as it is in heaven.
In other words, it's presently here, but will be completely here in the future.
It's hidden now, but will be totally visible then.
We have some of it now. We'll have all of it then.
Now it's veiled. Soon it will be fully revealed.
Now it's really among us. Then it will completely cover the earth.
Good news for today - The reign of God is breaking into the present from the future.
Miracles can happen. Peace can accompany chaos. The lonely can belong in the family of God. People can learn to love beyond themselves.
That's what we are doing now. We are believing into the possibility of HEAVEN NOW.
That's the story we hope to tell with our lives. We are currently experiencing a deep shalom in the chaos of this place called "today". When it's bad (and it's always some kind of bad), the Kingdom of Jesus Christ breaks into the chaos and brings the shalom of God for those who believe.
If we believe this, and if we cultivate a regular experience of shalom in our lives, we will take into our world with authority and power.
Grace to you as you do.