Peace to this House
Luke 10: 5 | By Rev Ed Visser
Does the idea of evangelism ever feel awkward, and even threatening to you? To me, at times, it does. Especially when I think of the bad models I’ve seen, or the rejection I may expect. Even when Jesus went to the villages of Israel during his life on earth, he encountered varying reactions. Some readily accepted his message, but others rejected him. In Luke 10, Jesus warns his disciples that they are going to run into the same reactions, both positive and negative, to the proclamation of the kingdom (Luke 10:6-12). Sometimes I feel awkward because it feels like I have to sell a product people don’t want. How many of us rush to answer the door when Jehovah’s Witness or Mormon missionaries are on the other side? Yet, what are we actually sharing? Jesus tells us it is shalom. It is peace.
Pronouncement of Shalom - He tells us that when we are sent into our community, we bless those who welcome us: “Peace to this house.” God will not fail to reward them because we represent Jesus and the Father to them. For a worthy person, one who receives our message and ministry, we are to offer God’s blessing of shalom. By biblical definition, shalom refers to a right relationship with God, other people, and the created world. Shalom encompasses one’s well-being, health, and safety. It's about prosperity, wholeness, and completeness, both physically and spiritually. How many people don’t need shalom in their lives? Where is that shalom needed specifically in our community? How might we take steps to bring shalom to our neighbors?
Promoter of Shalom - For a worthy person, one who receives our message and ministry, we are to offer God’s blessing of shalom. That person is described as “someone who promotes peace.” It sounds a bit like the classic disciple described in the Beatitudes, “Blessed are the peacemakers.” A person of peace is one whose heart is ready to welcome the kingdom. This assumes that the Holy Spirit is already working there ahead of us. We are simply joining him in his work. Do we recognize the Spirit’s presence, with and ahead of us, as we are sent into our community?
Priority of Shalom - Notice also that Jesus says “When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’” What would it look like if we approached people that way? Peace first, before one’s own opinions or agendas. What would it look like if we approached life that way? What if we approached personal conversations that way? What if we used Facebook posts or tweets that way? What if we put peace first, before our personal opinions?
We are to promote peace and well-being in our community, in our neighborhood, and in our schools.
Jesus, our Savior, our Sender, our Shalom, help me to be bold enough this week to share the shalom of your kingdom with those who need it. Amen.
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