We are in Advent

Adam is…scattered throughout the globe. Set in one place, he fell and, as it were, broken small, he has filled the whole world. But the Divine Mercy gathered up the fragments from every side, forged them in the fire of love and welded into one what had been broken…An immense task it was indeed; but think who the Artist was.

~St. Augustine

Shalom, the well-being of all God’s creation, is at the very heart of the Gospel, the good news Jesus offers the world. Through Jesus’ redemptive and restorative life, death and resurrection, we find peace with God and peace in God’s community, peace among neighbors and nations, peace over creation and economies and militaries and families and within the heart of every human. The world as-it-is is not the world-as-it-should-be. And, because of God’s promises – and because of God’s action in Jesus Christ – the world will one day be brought back to wholeness. Shalom.

God’s shalom is not merely a distant vision, but it is breaking in even now, wherever the Kingdom of God takes hold. We seek to join God’s shalom in a myriad of ways. Most of these ways, you’d have to discover by having actual conversations with people in our community. Some are working for shalom in Charlottesville or county schools. Some are making God’s world more beautiful with painting, melodies, lyrics, stories, photos and craft. Some are managing employees with dignity. Some are creating jobs for others. Some are stretching their mind and gathering wisdom to teach others to live justly and wisely. Some work for justice in a life of prayer. Some are healers in the hospital, and some take broken things (houses and electrical wiring, for instance) and put them back together again. Some are raising children to be honest and merciful. Some pursue friendship with the broken.

However, for all of us, shalom is not first something we do; but it is something done to us. God gives us well-being, hope and justice. And then we just pass it along.

Our church participates in God’s work of shalom-making together, as a community. We have committed to give away 20% of our community’s funds each year, joining, with our work and our money, God’s intention of bringing shalom into every spec of creation, beginning in Charlottesville, Virginia and then moving out with generosity and hope.