Randy S. Woodley is a distinguished associate professor of faith and culture and director of indigenous and intercultural studies at George Fox Seminary, Portland, Oregon. He ministered among First Nations people for more than 25 years and is the co-founder of Eagle's Wings Ministry. His books include Living in Color: Embracing God's Passion for Ethnic Diversity.
In the introduction, Woodley observes: "The Creator is calling us back to experience God's love and care in the created world around us. The indigenous peoples of our own lands are the guides and theological interpreters of this long-awaited journey."
Through their daily lives, rituals and ceremonies, Native Americans incarnate the harmony we now seek between human beings, the natural world, plants, and animals. Woodley sees their practices as expressing the same concept of shalom as Jesus did, not just shalom as peace but as an animating virtue that is dynamic, holistic, tangible, and communal.
Woodley wants Jesus' ministry of shalom to be affirmed and planted in the hearts and minds of all Christians. For Woodley, Jesus is the Sabbath rest and the "Shalom restorer of justice and dignity."
Shalom living means we are all with each other and there is no place in our lives for making disharmony through violence, hatred or harming others. Americans can change the course of their history by rejecting the popular national quest for empire, the urge toward war-making, the rampant materialism of the culture which has no time for just being, and the controlling and dominating use of the land and its resources.
Woodley ends with praise for the Native American efforts to keep shalom and harmony alive through generosity, hospitality, mercy, and beauty.