What is something that you think would make you happy today?
In the Bible the word peace is a very important word. Do you know what the word ‘peace” means? Peace can mean quiet. Or peace can mean that two people who were fighting have stopped fighting. But in the Bible the word peace means much more than ending a problem or a fight. The Old Testament was written in the Hebrew language, and in Hebrew the word peace is the word shalom. Can you say it: SHAH – LOME.
Shalom is one of the most important words to the Hebrew people, the Israelites. Shalom is both their word for hello and for goodbye. To wish somebody shalom is to hope that everything goes great for them. That they get all that they want and need. Shalom means happiness. Shalom means that everything is right in the world.
Usually we think that we will have peace, happiness, or shalom when we get a THING that we want, or when something bad goes away. Like if we get the birthday present we wanted we will be happy. Or if we don’t have to go to school because of a snow day we will be happy. Or, more seriously, if our sickness goes away or if the other kids at school are nice to us, then we will have peace and shalom.
But 700 years before Jesus, the prophet Micah said something pretty different about shalom. Listen to his prophecy from Micah chapter 5:
2 But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah,
who are too little to be among the clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth for me
one who is to be ruler in Israel,
whose coming forth is from of old,
from ancient days.
4 And he shall stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord,
in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.
And they shall dwell secure, for now he shall be great
to the ends of the earth.
5 And he shall be their peace.
Micah tells the Hebrew people that one day a king will come and be a good shepherd to the people. He will come from Bethlehem. He will rule Israel. He will make everyone safe. He is “from ancient days,” which is a fancy way of saying that he will be from forever, or he will be eternal.
Who is Micah describing?
And Micah says that Jesus “will be their peace.”
You see, our peace, our happiness, our shalom is not found in a THING. It’s found in a PERSON. We aren’t truly happy just because we get what we want or because something bad goes away, or because a fun thing happens. Why? Because all of that could change in an instant. Things and circumstances aren’t eternal. But Jesus is. And Jesus’ love is. He IS our peace. Why? Because he is the one who died for us, taking away our sins, and letting us be at peace with God – totally forgiven and loved! And because he never changes or goes away. He is always with us, loving us, guiding us, forgiving us, and one day, changing everything around us when we go to heaven to live with him forever. He is true peace. He is true happiness. And he is real shalom.
Because of Jesus I am at peace with God, totally forgiven and loved.
With Jesus I can always have peace in my heart even when things around me are hard.
DO SOMETHING TOGETHER
Sing this song together.
You are the shepherd and king of me. Now I can feel peace on the inside even when things are hard on the outside.
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