faith

holy kissing

October 22, 2008

You may remember me telling you about The Well’s daily devotion and the way we’ve all contributed to this month’s devotions.

Well, the most highly anticipated devotion of the month has finally arrived.

Ladies and Gentlemen, today’s focus verse is “Greet one another with a Holy Kiss”.

Who, you are thinking, would have been mad brave enough to pick that verse to write about in a devotion that the whole Well community would read? (Indeed, that now the whole world can read since they are all on the blog)

That would be me. Enjoy…

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Greet one another with a holy kiss… (Romans 16:16, 1 Corinthians 16:20, 2 Corinthians 13:12, 1 Thessalonians 5:26)

How many awkward moments have we all experienced where you meet someone you know and there is that terrible embarrassment caused by them going to shake hands and you going to hug, or you going for the one kiss and them trying to add a second or – totally over-the-top – a third!

A lot of Brits are highly suspicious of peple who greet one another with a kiss on the cheek. It is far too ‘European’ for comfort and people tend to judge you as hoity-toity. I kind of love that despite the probably clash of heads involved, people living in Belgium at least look happy to acknowledge that they know each other.

Jesus said in John 13, ‘This is how everyone will recognise that you are my disciples – when they see the love you have for each other.’ There are a lot of superficial relationships around, where people can work together for years, party every night for a month, and yet still not truly know or care for each other. Paul reminds the Christians to ‘greet each other with a holy kiss’ in a lot of his letters. Apparently it was a customary practice of the early Christians – a sign of mutual respect and love for one another.

Jesus was good at relationships. He loved deeply, cared deeply, enjoyed people’s company. What do we need to change in ourselves, and in our community to reflect more of that love? How can we ensure that when we greet each other, our pleasure and enjoyment are true rather than superficial? I think that kind of love can only come from knowing the source of all love: ‘We love because he first loved us.’

One wise person in my expression said a few weeks ago, that people in this city are thirsty to be acknowledged. I cam across a really interesting quote by Mother Theresa. She said, ‘We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked, and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty.’ Maybe this week we can keep our eyes open for the people who go unacknowledged, unrecognised, and greet them ‘with a holy kiss.’

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