The Holy Kiss

1 Thessalonians 5:26-28

When Polish church leaders invited me to teach young people in Poland from the Book of Proverbs what their Heavenly Father had to say about how not to get scarred in the school of hard knocks, Andy Horner, a businessman in Dallas, kept on my case. We were going, and it didn’t make any difference whether the Communist regime was trying to snuff out Solidarity in the mid-eighties or not.

Brother Andrew, our host, wasn’t at the Warsaw airport when we landed, but when he did arrive, he greeted us with a kiss on both cheeks. At the hidden farm where the summer camp was taking place, again each of the campers greeted us with a kiss on both cheeks and by that time I’d figured out which way to turn my head so that we didn’t clunk heads in the middle.  In Eastern Europe they greet and say farewell with a kiss, and in this regard, they are a lot closer to the first-century culture and the way believers greeted each other. 

“Greet all the brothers and sisters with a holy kiss. And solemnly swear before the Lord that you will have this letter read to all the brothers and sisters. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.”   1 Thessalonians 5:26-28

As American believers we could use a lot more of this kind of expression of physical tenderness and caring that Is not about sex, but about family. We also could be solemnly promising that when we gather, we will read out loud letters like this and all interact together about what the Spirit of God is saying to us and how we can get the truth into our daily lives.

LORD, in the American culture it’s not necessarily holy kisses we use to express that we are family, but it, at least, needs to be good strong hugs.

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