It’s ironic that the quest for a better life often draws people to the city, yet the result of so many diverse people living close to one another isn’t exactly neat and orderly.
What lies beneath this chaos? A shared desire for fulfillment – good health, security, justice, career aspirations, prosperity and even a level of spiritual contentment.
The quest for a fulfilled life is seen daily in Berlin. Whether it is a group of entrepreneurs exchanging ideas for startups, the street artist expressing herself on an abandoned building or a refugee family seeking the safety and security that the city provides.
The ancient term for this pursuit is seeking shalom.
Shalom encompasses more than just individual peace and happiness. It’s a state of integrated living, where relationships are harmonious, justice is present and each person is treated with dignity and respect.
In this environment, people are not just “in it for themselves.” They look inward and outward, considering how their actions affect their neighbors. They actively share their lives. As a result, their lives have a positive impact on those around them.
The church is also designed by God to bring shalom to the city – not only modeling it among its members but also infusing it into the world around them. As the church seeks shalom, God promises to bless the city.
One example of a shalom-seeking effort in Berlin is Serve the City. People holding various spiritual beliefs, including Christians, work together on projects throughout the city – among the homeless, in nursing homes, cleaning and painting, serving meals, lending a listening ear – to bring about positive change.
This is a small taste of what many shalom-seekers are doing throughout Berlin. No matter where we live, we are called to engage in efforts like this to see places and lives transformed.
By working together and with the blessing of God, we can bring shalom to our cities. This is the Charrette value of positive change.