The Holy Kiss: What we learned yesterday--and did!--at the gathering of CPC in The Hill
“Greet one another with a Holy Kiss” (Romans 16:16).
The theme and sermon of our service at CPC in The Hill yesterday was centered on the reason and nature of the "holy kiss" (aka, Peter, "kiss of love"). The Kiss had deep, cultural significant that was harnessed by Paul (and Peter) to bind the gathered-church of unequals and strangers together in unity, as a family in Christ.
This act (the Kiss) was soon incorporated into the liturgical flow of the gathered-church's worship, which was actually a fair (albeit physical and symbolic) application of the commands in the NT to greet one another (at the gathered-church) with a holy kiss (cf. Romans 16:16; 1 Corinthians 16:20; 2 Corinthians 13:12; 1 Thessalonians 5:26; 1 Peter 5:14). The kiss was positioned just before communal prayers and the celebration of the Lord's table in order to give space to welcome each other as family and to allow for any moments of reconciliation between congregants to happen before they, together as equals, shared in the Table of the Lord.
The power, the spiritual power, of this moment isn't simply passing the peace or saying "hi," but to physically demonstrate a true welcome (Romans 14-15) and reconciliation among unequals and strangers, now as God's family. This kiss provided . . .
▸ A physical act toward reconciliation, publically, personal, and demonstratively
Right there, at that moment, amid worship, instruction, and fellowship of church, of CPC in The Hill, rests, demonstrates, and provides a solution to every wound, every harm, every social problem facing us . . . the gathered-church is the way in which God changes everything . . . for the good and for his glory.
All in that kiss.
Greet one another with a holy kiss.
Cinco de Mayo, today, is a celebration (not of Mexico’s Independence Day, which is September 16th, but to) commemorate the Mexican Army's difficult victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla, on May 5, 1862. Ironically, I was watching Star Trek: First Contact (1996) and it was a little weird to hear Captain Picard narrate the final defeat of the Borg, “Captain’s log April the 5th, 2063 . . .” We certainly like commemorating war victories . . . soon we will celebrate Memorial Day, this year, May 28th (and rightly so to remember those who died while serving in our country’s armed forces) and, of course, the 4th of July (our own independence day).
Today, at the Anderson’s in Bridgeport, we will have our own celebration: We have an open invitation to a simple backyard BBQ to celebrate that Jesus Christ defeated our mortal enemy, the devil, on that cruel cross and has opened the door, giving, to all and anyone who believes in the gospel, access to His house (the church), the forgiveness of sins, and life eternal (I mean real life, forever and ever).
Our backyard BBQ is our one time a year fundraiser to help us ensure we have the resources for our church, Christ Presbyterian Church in The Hill, for our Summer Park BBQ. For 8 Wednesday we roll a grill into Trowbridge Square Park in the Hill community to serve hot dogs and hamburgers to whoever is in the park that evening. The average night has been between 65-70 served (even in the rain) and a few nights, 90+. For some, it will be their only meal that day and maybe the only real food for a few days.
The enemy has been defeated and we want the good people of the park to know this. I always preach and share the gospel before we eat (and the come, the almost all come and listen); I pray, we eat, and for about two hours CPC in The Hill loves on our Hill neighbors who are fighting battles most of us can’t even imagine.
This is the last call . . . the BBQ is today at 3:30 at our home in Bridgeport, come join us if you have the time and want to help . . . we turn our backyard into that park for an hour and a half or so . . .
FYI, if you can’t come and God is pushing you to help, we do have a GoFundMe as well . . . https://www.gofundme.com/2018-cpc-in-the-hill-bbq-ministry
Wasted Blogger, Chip M. Anderson
I am the pastor and church planter for Christ Presbyterian Church in The Hill; a flawed practitioner of Wasted Evangelism. I am learning about Wasted Evangelism through my experience in The Hill and through the good people of CPC in The Hill.