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Shalom Aleichem

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Isaiah 54:10
Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed," says the Lord, who has compassion on you.

I say these things to my children, and they say them to me. But we speak with voices that grow old, that crack; and we breathe out these words with lungs that lose their elasticity, that wear out, that stop working. Finally, we cannot keep this promise.

Only God keeps this promise. He made the world and all that is in it. He is present at its creation and is present at the Omega, the Eschaton, the end. He encompasses all of time, and all of space. And forever, he brings peace.

At the end of the church service, at the conclusion of a wedding, at the climax of funerals and baptisms, confirmations and communion, comes the blessing of peace that does not come and go but lasts and lasts:

The Lord bless you and keep you.
The Lord make his face shine upon you.
The Lord lift up his countenance upon you ...
and give you peace.

Maybe I don't believe it at first, but I discover that my mountains will indeed be shaken. My hills will certainly be removed. Disappointment and regret, remorse and grief and frustration hound me at nearly every corner. But this changes nothing about God's peace, the peace offered to me unconditionally by the maker of heaven and earth. I need only accept.

Thank you, Father. Your peace surpasses my understanding.

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