Shalom is a word that appears throughout the Bible. This word is both a greeting and a blessing, so it can be used for either “hello” or “goodbye”. The word “Shalom” means more than our common knowledge of just peace, it means wholeness, perfection, payment of debt, harmony, prosperity, and soundness. When we say “Shalom” to people, we are wishing that everything is good with them, like going back to the beginning when man was perfect before God. When Jesus paid the debt for us, we were made right with God and returned to the original perfect condition. That is the real shalom. Indeed the meaning of shalom is deep and vast.
“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May those who love you be secure.” (Psalms 122:6) The Psalmist calls upon the people to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. To “pray for” incorporates the meanings of concern and inquiry. To pray for the peace of Jerusalem is also to show concern to the place.
The first half the word “Jeru” is derived from Jehovah “Jireh”, like when God provided the ram in place of Isaac, or provided for Hagar in the Desert of Beersheba. The second half the word “salem” is Shalom, meaning peace, completeness, and payment of debt. The city of Jerusalem today is still in chaos, but her name continuously prophesies and proclaims that God will prepare the perfect peace and payment of debt. And it was there over 2000 years ago that the Messiah, Jesus Christ, used his blood to enter into the Holy of Holies, and paid for all the time the ransom of sin. This very precious peace came to the city, as God’s wonderfully prepared gift.
Today, Hong Kong needs this shalom. I long for shalom to come upon every fearful, helpless, or vengeful heart; more importantly, I pray for shalom to come upon this city that is being torn apart. I pray for reconciliation of relationships between the people and the government, between police and communities, and even between family members who are fighting over the controversial issues. I pray that Hong Kong may experience the complete redemption and peace from God.
May God rise up the churches to be the peacemakers, the watchmen and the shining stars of the city. And one day when this Prince of Peace, our Lord Jesus Christ, comes again, we will dwell with Him in a whole and perfect eternal peace.
Winnie Chan, Local Preacher of Wesley Methodist Church, Sibu