A Way Back to Shalom

*The following serves as the conclusion of Lisa Sharon Harper’s important book The Very Good Gospel.

Evidence of the presence of the Kingdom of God is thick wherever and whenever people stand on the promise of God that there is more to this world – more to this life – than what we see. There is more than the getting over, getting by, or getting mine. There is more than the brokenness, the destruction, and the despair that threaten to wash over us like the waters of the deep. There is a vision of a world where God cuts through the chaos, where God speaks and there is light. There is a vision where there is protection and where love is binding every relationship together. There is a call for humanity to exercise dominion over self and the rest of creation in a way that serves all, not just self. And there is a promise that as long as we follow God’s way, there will be life, healing, and love. There will come a day when all the world stands before God in shalom, and there will be only one tree, and its leaves will heal our wounds.

The very good gospel answers the heart cry of our age. Our ransacked world is crying out for the restoration of the governance of God and the shalom it brings. As the body of Christ lives out the very good gospel in pews, in households, and in the public square, it is partnering with God to restore very good (tov me’od) to the world. It is exercising God’s kind of dominion (radah) within the church. And it calls our leaders to do the same in society, to exercise the kind of dominion that cultivates the image (tselem) of God on earth while serving and protecting all of God’s creation.

Let it be so.

There is a way back to shalom. It is the way of God, demonstrated in the person of Jesus and made possible through his death and resurrection.

This is the good news. This is the very good gospel.

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