peace_face.jpg Last fall in considering a missional order, I did some writing on the topic of shalom. This is a significant theme in the Bible — its basic meaning is “well-being,” but it has a wide semantic range that can stress particular nuances, including totality or completeness, fulfillment, maturity, soundness, wholeness, community, harmony, tranquility, security, friendship, agreement, and prosperity. Theologically, it is one of the most significant terms in Scripture — in translating it as “peace,” we refer not merely to time between wars nor happy thoughts of contentment. In thinking of “peace” as we often consider it, we short-change this word of much of its meaning.

Shalom is far deeper, with eschatalogical significance. For the prophets, peace was a central concept associated with the messianic hope — Isaiah 9:6 where term “Prince of Peace” is used for the Messiah is just one example of the proclamation of shalom being connected with Messianic realization, with the Kingdom of God. Jesus greeted his disciples for the first time as the Risen Christ in John 20 with the words, “Peace be with you,” and in this joyous reunion, we begin to understand more of the kind of Kingdom that Jesus is establishing. We have shalom, but not yet in its complete fashion. The writer to the Hebrews says,

So God’s rest is there for people to enter, but those who first heard this good news failed to enter because they disobeyed God. So God set another time for entering his rest, and that time is today.

There is in all of us an inherent longing for peace, for shalom, whether or not we recognize the longing or the depth from which it springs. It is common to all of us, even those who have not yet connected it with the rest promised by God.

As we enter the season of Advent, we turn our thoughts to the coming of Messiah, to the establishment of his Kingdom, and to our entry into a greater experience of his Shalom. Of course, Advent begins the church year, and we shift to a new set of lectionary readings. When I was doing some reading on the theme last year, I naturally consulted Walter Brueggemann’s book, Living Toward a Vision: Biblical Reflections on Shalom, which includes an appendix titled “A Lectionary of Shalom” — a year’s worth of readings on the topic. This strikes me as the makings of a rich immersion in a grand theme, so I am reproducing his Lectionary of Shalom here for anyone who might wish to follow it or to review some of the major texts on the subject.

Sundays in Advent & Christmas
First Sunday Isaiah 40:1-11 Luke 3:1-9
Second Sunday Isaiah 45:1-7 John 1:1-18
Third Sunday Isaiah 54:1-8 Luke 1:46-55
Fourth Sunday Isaiah 52:7-12 Luke 1:68-79
Christmas Isaiah 42:10-16 Luke 2:1-20
Sundays After Christmas
Sundays After Christmas Isaiah 65:18-25 John 16:16-24
Epiphany Sunday Isaiah 49:5-13 Acts 13:44-52
Sundays After Epiphany
First Sunday Isaiah 2:1-5 Matthew 10:26-42
Second Sunday Leviticus 26:3-13 Matthew 5:1-12
Third Sunday Deuteronomy 10:12-22 Mark 12:28-34
Fourth Sunday Micah 6:1-8 Matthew 25:31-46
Fifth Sunday Deuteronomy 8:1-20 Matthew 23:13-36
Sixth Sunday Hosea 2:14-23 Ephesians 2:11-22
Seventh Sunday Hosea 6:1-6 Matthew 9:1-13
(If there are eight or nine Sundays in this season, use the last one or two selections for the summer season.)
Sundays in Lent & Easter
First Sunday Deuteronomy 17:14-20 Matthew 10:5-15
Second Sunday Proverbs 3:7; 20:22; 25:21-22; 2 Samuel 19:167-23 Romans 12:9-21
Third Sunday 1 Samuel 12:1-5 Galatians 5:16-26
Fourth Sunday Deuteronomy 20:1-9 Ephesians 6:10-20
Fifth Sunday Isaiah 1:12-17 Colossians 3:12-17
Sixth Sunday Jeremiah 3:11-14, 21-23; 4:1-4 Ephesians 4:17-24
Easter Genesis 1:1-2:4a 1 Corinthians 15:42-58
Sundays after Easter, & Pentecost
First Sunday Hosea 14:1-7 Acts 3:1-10
Second Sunday Isaiah 39:1-8 Acts 5:1-11
Third Sunday Psalm 1 Ephesians 4:1-24
Fourth Sunday Isaiah 10:12-19 1 Corinthians 1:26-31
Pentecost 1 Samuel 16:1-13 1 Corinthians 12:31b-13:13
Sundays after Pentecost — Summer
First Sunday Exodus 14:21-29 Mark 4:35-41
Second Sunday Isaiah 5:1-7 Mark 12:1-12
Third Sunday Joshua 6:22-25 Luke 19:1-10
Fourth Sunday Exodus 16:13-21 Matthew 15:32-39
Fifth Sunday Genesis 9:8-17 Colossians 1:15-20
Sixth Sunday Joshua 7:19-26 Luke 12:13-21
Seventh Sunday Isaiah 56:1-8 Matthew 9:10-13
Eighth Sunday 1 Kings 17:17-24 Mark 5:35-43
Ninth Sunday Genesis 1:26-2:3 Mark 2:23-28
Tenth Sunday 1 Kings 3:3-14 Matthew 6:25-33
Eleventh Sunday Hosea 3 Luke 7:36-50
Twelfth Sunday 2 Chronicles 26:16-21 Luke 17:11-19
Thirteenth Sunday Isaiah 43:14-21 Luke 5:33-39
Fourteenth Sunday Joshua 1:1-9 Luke 12:35-40
(If there are fifteen or sixteen Sundays in this season, use the last one or two selections for the season from Epiphany to Lent.)
Sundays After Pentecost — Fall
First (Labour) Sunday Exodus 5:5-19 Luke 10:1-16
Second Sunday Hosea 11:1-9 Galatians 3:23-4:7
Third Sunday Exodus 2:23-25; 3:7-12 1 Peter 2:1-10
Fourth Sunday Genesis 27:18-38 Luke 15:11-32
Fifth Sunday Isaiah 2:6-22 Mark 10:35-45
Sixth (Communion) Sunday Isaiah 19:23-25 Acts 2:1-13
Seventh Sunday Genesis 33:1-11 2 Corinthians 5:16-21
Eighth Sunday Deuteronomy 7:6-16 Galatians 3:23-29
Ninth Sunday Exodus 15:1-12 Romans 6:1-11
Tenth Sunday Genesis 21:1-14 Galatians 4:21-5:5
Eleventh Sunday Psalm 37:1-24 Luke 16:19-30
Twelfth Sunday Amos 9:11-15 Matthew 28:16-20
Memorial Sunday Genesis 50:15-21 Romans 8:28-39

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