What if I told you that the way things are, are not the way they have to be? What if the massive gap between rich and poor didn’t have to be the status quo? What if I told you that our prisons don’t have to be overpopulated, and our environment doesn’t have to be overtaxed? What if we didn’t have to convince the world that black lives matter? What if women didn’t have to say, “me too,” anymore? What if that one friendship that you thought would never recover could find new life? What if you could live knowing that you do belong and that you are loved?

Shalom is what our souls long for, but shalom as longing and shalom as reality seem like worlds apart. And even though this talk of shalom might seem at times like a fantasy dreamworld that will always remain outside of our grasp, there is good news! The story that the Bible tells is that we have a God who responds to our deepest longings for things to be made right. Shalom is the perfection of God’s creation; a state in which all parties are able to flourish in relationship to one another in the fullness of who and what God has made them to be


The first word that the Bible speaks about humanity is that we are created in the image of God. As image bearers of God, we were given the responsibility of making sure that all of the very good relationships in God’s creation remain very good. This is where we went off track! When we dropped the ball, Jesus stepped in to pick it back up again for all of humanity. Through his incarnation, life, death, resurrection, and ascension, Jesus, who the Bible says is the wisdom of God, showed us how to be fully human and paved the way for us to be restored back to right relationship with God

Jesus has both opened up access for us back into the life of God, and has shown us what it looks like to be fully human. When we say yes to following Jesus, we are saying yes to the call to be fully human. We are saying yes to living out of our deepest identity as children of God; and, as Jesus says in Matthew 5:9, children of God do the work of making shalom. We have the beautiful privilege of joining Jesus in the work of pax - the work of co-laboring with Jesus to make all things new!


So, when I say that things don’t have to be this way, I mean that there is another way to be human. There is a way of being human that seeks to empower those in poverty, instead of ignoring and continuing to silence their voices. There is a way of being human that labors to see restorative justice instead of retributive justice in our systems of incarceration. There is a way of being human that maintains the dignity of black and brown lives, honors the voices and bodies of women, and cares for our environment. There is a way of being human that puts into practice the cross-shaped art of forgiveness in our relationships. There is a way of being human where we can feel that we belong and where we can know that we are loved. The first step in this journey of discovering peace within ourselves and laboring for peace with others is to find peace with God in whose image we are created. This is the way of shalom. This is the way of pax. This is the way of Jesus.

I want to invite you to come and journey with us. Let’s walk this way together. Let’s dream and imagine together about what this other way could look like. Let’s be conspirators of shalom for the sake of one another and for the sake of our world. 

partnering organizations