“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.
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.