We sing peace on earth goodwill toward men at Christmas. We celebrate Jesus the Prince of Peace.
But what do we mean when we say peace?
Shalom in the Bible is wholeness, perfect order, everything in right relationship with everything else. Like a huge garment, with every thread woven in place and connected to every other thread, Shalom means that God is in his rightful place and we are in right relationships with the universe and all is well.
The best we can do here on earth is to stop shooting each other and call it peace. And the only way we can stop shooting each other is to build walls. We’re so far removed from a right relationship with our neighbor that we’re building walls to keep their guns (and faces, and eyes, and hands) out, and to keep ourselves in.
Peace wall. It’s an oxymoron.
For an oxymoron, it’s something we do a lot. Peace walls.
In South Africa, we even have a type of wall we call a “Stop Nonsense” wall.
We say good fences make good neighbors.
I say, Something there is that doesn’t love a wall. That wants it down.
One day, Peace is going to stand up like a sleeping giant just awoken from a nap,
stand up and shake his head free of these walls, and they’ll just tumble off.
Because walls are made, you know. And there is something that is more real than walls.
Hebrews 12: 26-28 “At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” This phrase “yet once more” indicates the removal of things that are shaken–that is, things that have been made–in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken.”