Living Education Retreat and Shalom

While we were at Shalom Hill Farm last weekend for the Living Education Retreat, I shared some thoughts about the word shalom at the morning meditation.  This is a brief gathering out on the observation deck in the early morning right alongside the baaing sheep and flickering birds. It is a peaceful time to meditate on truth and beauty before we begin the day's activities.

I am always thinking about that quote by St. Irenaeus, "The glory of God is a human being fully alive," and the full definition of shalom fits nicely with it. The concept of human flourishing goes hand in hand with the concept of shalom as found in the Old Testament. Theologian Cornelius Plantinga says it beautifully:

The webbing together of God, humans, and all creation in justice, fulfillment, and delight is what the Hebrew prophets call shalom.  We call it peace, but, it means far more than mere peace of mind or a cease-fire between enemies.  In the Bible, shalom means universal flourishing, wholeness, and delight - a rich state of affairs in which natural needs are satisfied and natural gifts fruitfully employed, a state of affairs that inspires joyful wonder as its Creator and Saviour opens the doors and welcomes creatures in whom he delights.
This past weekend, we discussed this.  A lot. It has everything to do with how we choose to live and educate.

I have one more speaking engagement in Peoria next weekend and then I am done for the season.  I am looking forward to concentrating on my family, some consulting, and being fully alive.



  1. So wish I could have been there! Hoping for next year. Shalom to you and your family as you get some needed rest, ministering to one another and living life in His fullness.

  2. So glad to hear and see all the beauty and goodness at the retreat! Love the shalom word study! Here is a verse: I Sam. 25:29--But the life of my lord shall be bound in the BUNDLE OF THE LIVING with the Lord your God. Jerram Barrs wrote that this was one of Francis Schaeffer's favorite verses and he would pray for those bound together in a 'bundle of living" at L'Abri.

  3. Hi Nancy!
    I (finally) posted about the LER on my blog. I'm not on facebook, so I thought I could post the link here in case you are interested . . . http://thepantrybook.com/2014/08/06/to-minnesota-and-maine-and-home-again-july-2014/

    P.S. My daughter's middle name is Eirene (the Greek version of shalom). My husband said I couldn't name her Shalom, but I would've if I could've. I love the word! The definition that we found when choosing her name is from a Greek lexicon: the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot, of whatsoever sort that is.