Read: Colossians 3:15-16

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts. (v. 15)

The Hebrew word shalom often gets translated as “peace.” But if we think of this “peace” only as a lack of conflict—a time without war or “peace and quiet” at home—then we are missing the richness of what God desires. Yes, God’s desired shalom means an end to conflict, but it also is more active than that. Shalom means a world where every person and creature makes it their aim to help all other people and creatures to flourish. It’s not merely that I want to leave you in peace, I want to make sure you are doing well.

That is the peace Jesus came to bring. So when Paul told the Colossians to let the peace of Christ take over their hearts, he was wishing for a community in Colossae in which every person bends over backwards to help every other person. Such peace in our hearts is not just my being able to say, “I am doing well. I have all I need. I am at peace.” No, it’s to ask my every neighbor, “Are you doing OK? Do you have all you need? If not, then I will see if I can help.”

Shalom is what God intended for this creation in the beginning. And shalom is what Jesus will usher in fully in the new creation. It is the joy of Christians to begin experiencing a little of that shalom already now. —Scott Hoezee

As you pray, thank God for the peace that passes all understanding in our hearts today.

About the Author

Scott Hoezee is an ordained pastor in the Christian Reformed Church of North America. He served two Michigan congregations from 1990-2005 and since 2005 has been a faculty member at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he serves chiefly as the Director of The Center for Excellence in Preaching. He is the author of several books, including most recently Why We Listen to Sermons (Calvin Press 2019) and is the co-host of the “Groundwork” radio program.