Written by Pastor Craig Van Hill
Shalom. Whether we know it or not we are all longing for shalom, and it is even more evident now than it was just a few months ago.
Our current social, political, and economic situation due to the pandemic has drawn out more anxiety, tension, and fighting. In marriages and families, relationships are being strained. Mentally we are experiencing walls that confine us. Socially we are longing for hugs and coffee shop talks. Physically we are becoming lackadaisical. In all of this we are living in a new form of chaos. We could all use some counseling and we all need to be enveloped in the shalom that comes from God.
As the director of The DOCK, an urban youth ministry, I wonder what sort of chaos our students are experiencing right now. Knowing some of their situations gives me reason to believe that they know chaos in ways that I don’t.
As I sit in an empty building, usually full of life, I can still see the faces of boys anticipating another game of basketball and girls sending snapchats. There’s the card game at one table and the lone student working on chemistry oblivious to everyone else. But those students are not here right now. They are at home dealing with their own form of chaos. I ache for them, mostly for the students who live in a home where God’s shalom is unknown. Many of them cannot relate to a home where the Bible is read or prayers are offered before every meal.
For them, the God that we know is more like a Greek mythological figure who exists only in a book.
So, brothers and sisters in Christ, I ache to see them again, not just to play foosball and hear about their day, but to share with them the Good News, to tell them how God took chaos and created a perfect world for us to live in, to share how God has taken the lowest points in my life and raised me up.
What I yearn for most is that they will come to know our Lord and Savior, to understand the shalom that comes with knowing that we belong body and soul, in life and in death, to our faithful Savior Jesus Christ. Oh, how I hope that they will someday have a relationship with Him, not so that God will take them out of chaos, but so that they will know with every ounce of their being that God lives with them in the midst of their chaos.
Please join me in praying for this and if the LORD leads you to join us in sharing God’s shalom with the youth of Kelloggsville we would love to partner with you.
You can email Craig at firstname.lastname@example.org.