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Posts Tagged ‘holy kiss’

Like foot washing, head coverings and the like, the holy kiss has been discussed ad nauseum by many scholars and theologians. Generally, it is accepted that “kissing,” as a greeting is culturally based and not “required” in today’s church. We can just shake hands. But even that is going out of fashion.

I Corinthians 16:20
All the brothers here send you greetings. Greet one another with a holy kiss.

Oh yes, today, we know all about the germs. Those bad boys are putting a crimp in just about everything. And somehow, they seem to be getting worse than ever with each age. But never fear: we now have hand sanitizers everywhere, from the grocery store cart stand to the entrances of most public buildings and even the hallways of movie theaters.

People have become afraid to touch each other, much less kiss or drink from a common communion cup. Pretty soon, after the small plastic cups and tiny white dog biscuits are passed, they’ll follow up with a squirt of sanitizer.

Everything is becoming sanitized and impersonal when we’re face to face while intimacies flourish online. People say things in chat rooms, email, and texting that they would never say to one another in person. Some folks even participate in full blown virtual communities as “avatars” and in some of the worst cases, develop avatar-based intimacies and actually discuss in forums whether it’s cheating on a husband or wife if their avatars are having virtual sex.

Where is the simplicity in relationships?

A friend of mine once bemoaned that people don’t seem to know how to just “get together” and spend time together or just drop by and chat. Neighborhoods where people know each other and chat across a fence are becoming far fewer even though we are living closer and closer together.

The holy kiss greeting is a symbol of connection, a genuine touch of one person to another. This kiss doesn’t even have to be a lip to lip kiss, it can be as simple as authentic eye contact or a genuine hug or a gift of self.

To kiss in this way is to give. But if it’s not real, don’t bother. There are too many people who hug and kiss the air next to someone’s face because of heavy lipstick or some of other hair or make-up interference. Men have stopped kissing their children. I’m beginning to think more people are kissing their dogs than they are kissing other people.

A true kiss is an exchange, that’s all. I can kiss with my eyes, my fingertips, my nose, my feet. I can kiss with my lips. But if there is nothing behind the kiss, I have cheated the other person. If there is no true affection or desire to connect, then there really is no point in doing it.

In some fantasy books, if there is a true connection between people, something happens between them when they touch . . . like a small jolt of electricity. We have lost the ability to send ourselves through touch, through the kiss, through the eyes. How then can we pass Christ?

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