2017. The year of shalom. Holding tight to the promise that God’s kingdom will come. Not a far off hope but a close reality. A lack of fear. The cool, deep breath of peace. But more than peace. Because shalom is “the world as God intended it to be.” Justice. Love. Equality. Shalom is a culture; it is an atmosphere. It is the changing of the winds of normalcy. It is a push against the status quo. A culture is defined by practices and discourses. And so shalom is not an idea–it is a way of life, a way of being, a way of existing. A love that extends to all without accusation. An even distribution of power that provides confidence to take action. The empowerment of the individual and the strength of the collective. Justice for those who have been oppressed by a system and ignored by the privileged. A confidence that our identity is secure in a God who never moves. Rest in the knowledge that we were not created to be productive but to project his love. And grace. Multitudes of grace. For not only others, but also yourself. The year of shalom. The world as God intended it to be. May we establish it, keep it, and live it in 2017.