How do you understand the word “peace” (shalom) and “restoration”? How can we “seek justice” to bring shalom to others in the coming week? In Matthew 5:9, we learn that “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” Listen as Paul Kiss unpacks this passage as we discover that the standard for making something right, is based in his instruction to love God and love others like yourself. And because of Jesus, we actually can make a difference in our world.
Make a Difference
Speaker: Paul Kiss
Date: September 30, 2018
1. God’s desire for our communities: Shalom!
Text: Psalm 85
● Shalom: “peace, wellness, wholeness, prosperity.”
“In sum: When things are the way they are supposed to be in human life, Shalom exists. There is Shalom when we can look God in the eye and know there is no guilt or debt. There is Shalom when we as humans can look each other in the eye and ask, ‘Are you happy to see me? Or is there still something between us?’ and we can answer with a laugh: ‘Everything is right between us!’ In fact, Shalom even means that we can ‘look creation in the eye’— God’s good creation in which we live.”–– Timothy Geddert, God’s Shalom Project
2. Shalom and Justice.
Text: Matthew 5:6; 6:33
● Justice: “to make something right.”
3. Love is the foundation.
Text: Matthew 22:34-37
● According to Jesus, the standard for making something right, is based in his instruction to love God and love others like yourself.
4. Yes, but….
1. How do you understand the word “peace”? What does peace include for you? How does your understanding of peace differ from the biblical meaning of peace (Shalom)?
2. What could “shalom” look like in our communities? (Based on the definition in the notes above, #1).
3. Many translations of Matthew 5:9 use the word “righteousness” instead of “justice.” How does using the word “justice” change the meaning of this text?
4. Scot McKnight suggests that the biblical idea of justice is concerned with restoration; restoration of people to God and to each other. How does this compare with our modern, popular idea of justice?
5. We tend to talk a lot about love at New Life? What do you appreciate about this emphasis? What concerns or questions do you have about this emphasis?
6. What is one way we could “seek justice” to bring shalom to others in the coming week?
1. Go online and listen to the Ed Sheeran song, “What do I know?” Read the lyrics and consider what he is saying. How do his sentiments fit with what Jesus calls us to?
2. New Life has a number of teams that can benefit from new people joining. Consider getting involved. (Parking, First Time Kiosk, Youth, Children, Home Church Hosts or Leaders).