I don’t know if you have ever met my mom, but she’s pretty cool. She started her own apparel and jewelry business in 2015 called Never Lose Hope Designs. In light of the craziness that was 2020, she wanted to produce an inspirational shirt for 2021. So she took to the internet and found something incredible.
If you search “Bible verse 20 21,” the first result should be John 20:21. This is what that verse (NIV) says,
Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”
How cool is that?
Can you think of a more perfect verse to launch us into 2021? I can't.
This year has not been short of problems, it has been more divisive and chaotic than any year I can remember. But I believe that out of these ashes, God will grow something beautiful. God’s Word for 2021 is “Peace be with you.” And this should be our focus for this upcoming year: For peace to be with us and for us to bring peace to others.
WHAT IS PEACE?
The Hebrew word for peace is shalom ( שָׁלוֹם ) that word is also used to say
- Completeness, to be whole and complete.
- Soundness, to be strong, sturdy, robust, and with good judgement.
- Welfare, the well being of others. The health, happiness, and good fortune of others.
This word usually refers to a relationship between people. It symbolizes the relationship between God and Humanity, reminding us that something went wrong and ruptured that relationship. All of the evil that exists in this world is because of us.
Within all of us is an inherent desire to want to do what I want, what feels good to me, what feels right to me, to do what is best for me. And yet, choosing to follow this "me centered" nature is what creates bitterness, greed, pride, and all the things that are wrong with this world.
But despite what went wrong, God desires shalom: For that relationship to be complete, to be whole again and not separated. This is why God sent Jesus. When we follow Him, God saves us from our enslavement to that evil and the consequences of it.
When we simply love Jesus, God’s Spirit dwells within us. The more that we desire to know who He is, the Spirit shapes our heart to be like God; who desires for all that is wrong to be made right. Who desires, as the angels sang, "Peace on earth and good will towards men." (Luke 2:14)
PEACE BE WITH YOU
John 20:21 takes place right after He had risen from the grave. This was the first time He had appeared to the Apostles. He could have said anything at all, but He chose to say “Peace be with you.” Now that He had risen, peace would not only be with us, but peace would live in us!
I feel like a 1970’s hippie typing out all of this “peace talk.” But seriously, what would our country look like if our focus was having peace with us and bringing peace to others?
How would it change the way we speak to other people?
How would it change the way we think or feel about other people? It could change us to our very core.
And that is exactly what God wants. God wants to change you to your very core. Because that is what it will take for this world to know peace, it requires you to change, all the way to your very soul. Jesus died for us so that we could have PEACE with God, and that we could give peace to others.