Monday, September 20, 2010

Shalom

A civilization’s form of greeting is often a window into their culture. I’m not familiar with very many, but this theory makes my point, so I’m going with it. In China, a familiar greeting since the Cultural Revolution has been, “Have you eaten?”  Now this equals a casual, "Hello," but back then it was a way of saying that you cared for the person. And think about us here in the US. We love the casual and short, "Hi," and when we say, "How are you?" we don't want a real answer. Please just give us the accepted, "Fine. How are you?" back. We love our self-sufficiency and independence!
A few weeks ago in church one of the pastors mentioned that the Hebrew greeting of "Shalom" has so much more meaning than just peace. I was interested, so of course, I googled it. The first hit was a short essay with this reference in it:
Strong's Concordance 7965 - Hebrew Shalom ..... A word study in the New King James version for SHALOM says: Completeness, wholeness, health, peace, welfare, safety soundness, tranquility, prosperity, perfectness, fullness, rest, harmony, the absence of agitation or discord.
So when a Hebrew says, "Shalom" there is (or was originally) so much more depth to it than just a simple, "Peace." This is at least indicative of the God of the Hebrews if not the Hebrew culture.
That meaning of completeness or fullness is a very important one to me. I think that we Americans could do with a little of this fullness blessing in our greeting. We often settle for the easy and comfortable, don't we? We get stuck in ruts; we watch a lot of tv; we are completely happy with the norm. And we have a lot of depression, a lot of living less than a full life.
I have always been what I would consider a passionate person, but about five years ago, "I woke up to my own life," as the Sara Groves song says. I realized that the catechism answer to "What is the chief end of man?" was more than just words to read or recite. We humans are created to "glorify God and enjoy Him forever." This had a few practical effects on my day-to-day life. I decided to try something to battle my fatigue (spirulina) and it worked. I joined my hubby in reading the Bible in 90 days and it was a time of intense spiritual growth (upheaval might be a better word for it, but God used it for growth!), and I began to see little by little how very blessed I really am. It has made me a completely different momma, wife, and friend.
Praying this "Shalom" of fullness and completeness and harmony and health for all my friends and readers makes my Monday!
Linked to Makes My Monday.

5 comments:

  1. What a beautiful post! Thank you for giving me a little more insight.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for the insightful definition of Shalom. It does bother me that we automatically ask how are you and then not even wait for the answer. I've tried get more eye contact when I greet someone, but maybe I'll start saying Shalom and see what happens...if nothing else i'll get some raised eyebrows...
    Becky Jane

    ReplyDelete
  3. This was a beautiful post. Our weekly benediction is a harmonized singing of "Shalom"...and now it will mean more thanks to your elaborative post. :)

    Thank you! Makes My Monday, for sure!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hmmm. That gets me thinking. I was considering doing that bc it's an app on my phone :) --It would also be a good idea for a group recoup at 30, 60 &90. Sorta like p90x...but different ;)

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love the definition of Shalom!! It's so beautiful

    ReplyDelete