06 July 2013

"You Had Me at Shalom"

The reference is to the climactic scene in the film, "Jerry Maquire" in which Tom Cruise woos back Renee Zellweger and she says, "You had me at hello." I admit it - I LOVE that scene!
       It is full of hope, and possible redemption, and pathos! Even though it's a Hollywood fantasy.
       I love the phrase, "You had me at shalom" a million times more. Shalom is utterly impossible apart from God, and more specifically apart from the person of Jesus Christ.
       I don't know a person who does not want to live SHALOM - an inner experience of contentment, fulfillment, settledness which overflows into a "peaceful" external life.
       This week Egypt experienced its second "revolution" in which President Morsi was removed by the military. Is Egypt any closer to shalom today than a week ago? I doubt it. We would do well to have a muted, respectful, and prayerful response to a people suffering greatly at the moment.
       Shalom is a word that is larger than life. You know it when you experience it, but you can never manufacture it. Shalom came on a few of us two weeks ago when I was with my friends Ashraf (a Jordanian) and Ali (a Tunisian) at a training week. We celebrated the Lord's Supper together and I was privileged and humbled to lead the Commmunion time. In the midst of 100 people, Ashraf and Ali came forward to receive the body and blood Christ given for them - and given for the Jewish guy who was serving them.
       That is shalom.

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