For the second half term of Autumn, we focus on ‘Peace’ as this is the time of year when ‘Peace on Earth’ is a message heard around the world as we head towards Christmas.
The Hebrew term for peace, ‘shalom’, has a deep and complex meaning, encompassing much more than simply the absence of hostility or war. Shalom includes ideas of healing and health, wholeness and well-being. It means harmony, stability and security within a community. It refers to relationships based on truth and righteousness, where people flourish because they are nurtured.
During this term, we take part in the Samaritan’s Purse’s Operation Christmas Child campaign. Classes work collaboratively to pack shoeboxes for children in need around the world. The shoeboxes include small toys but also soap, brushes and clothing such as socks. We use this as an opportunity to promote peace by nurturing the health and wellbeing of those less fortunate than ourselves.
The Biblical picture of the age to come is one of Shalom. ‘Swords will be beaten into ploughshares’ … ‘the wolf shall live with the lamb… no-one shall hurt or destroy…’ (Isaiah 2:2-4; 11:1-9). Traditional enemies will live together contentedly and the people will be governed with wisdom, understanding and justice.
In Jesus’ message, peace is an almost tangible element. It is his gift to his disciples. Paul describes God as the God of peace; the Christian message is called the ’gospel of peace’ and peace is one of the ‘fruits of the Spirit’.
Peter, quoting the Psalms, says we must ‘seek peace and pursue it’ (1 Peter 3:11). Jesus blesses those who are ‘peacemakers’ and calls them ‘sons of God’.
How can we demonstrate our value of Peace?
Psalm 34:14 Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.
- Follow our school Christian Values
- Stay on Green
- Follow rules at home
- Make good choices with behaviour
- Make amends if you make a mistake with your behaviour
Matthew 5:19 ‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.’
- Help those who are in trouble
- Ask teachers to help if there is a problem
- If there is a disagreement, try to help by finding a solution calmly
Colossians 3:15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.
- Give help to those who need it
- Do work for charity
- Donate money to charity
- Donate toys or books to hospitals or doctors’ surgeries
- Treat others as you would want to be treated